Theresa Burns
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Obituary of Theresa M. Burns

Theresa M. Burns
(nee Mikolic)

Age 88, a lifelong Joliet resident, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019, with her loving family by her side, at the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home.  Born December 19, 1930, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary (nee Dezman) Mikolic.

Theresa was preceded in death only a few months earlier by her cherished husband of 65 years, William “Bill” L. Burns, Jr.  She was also preceded in death by her two older sisters, Albina Mikolic and Emilija “Millie” (Clarence) Ellena, and niece, Kathy Hodgman.

She is survived by her children, William III “Bill” (Mary), Patricia (Bill) Pedersen and Nora (John) Primiano; her grandchildren, William IV “Billy” (Melinda) Burns, Matthew (Michelle) Burns, Zak Pedersen, Anna (Chris) Budvitis, Gina (fiancé Jerry Bell) Primiano and Mark (Rebecca) Primiano; her great-grandchildren, Samantha Burns, William “Will” Burns V, Ethan Burns and Elise Burns; and her sister, Vicki Hodgman.  Several nieces and nephews also survive.

Theresa grew up with a strong Slovenian heritage which she shared with her family through stories, recipes and genealogy.  Her first language was Slovenian and she was an active member in the Slovenian Union of America.

Theresa held a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Francis and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  She was a beloved teacher of French at St. Francis Academy which became Joliet Catholic Academy in her last year of teaching.  She shared her love of France with her students by chaperoning bi-annual trips to Europe over a period of more than 20 years.

Theresa and her husband, Bill, were avid cooks who enjoyed preparing meals together, trying new dishes and entertaining friends and family.  Having learned from her mother, she was an expert seamstress who created draperies, tablecloths and entire wardrobes for her family including jeans and special event outfits such as graduation dresses, costumes and square dance clothes.   Theresa loved to garden and was known for her green thumb.

A Memorial Gathering for Theresa Burns will be held on Thursday, February 14, 2019, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 600 Brook Forest Ave., Shorewood, from 9:30 a.m. until time of Mass of Christian Burial being celebrated at 10:30 a.m.  As it was Theresa’s request, cremation rites have been accorded.  Private inurnment will be held at St. Joseph Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to the Joliet Area Community Hospice or to the Slovenian Union of America would be appreciated.  For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute at