Obituary of Irma Elvida Burnside
Our family lost a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother on Friday, January 27, 2023, with the death of Irma Elvida Burnside which occurred at Daeka Care Centre, Hampton, NB after recently celebrating her 94th birthday. Born in Southfield, NB on December 9, 1928, she was daughter of the late Robert “Bob” and Elvida “Vi” (Ross) Forgrave.
Irma is survived by her children: Debbie Hickey (Mike) of Nauwigewauk, NB, and Wayne Burnside (Jocelyn Daye) of Rothesay, NB; grandchildren: Jamie Burnside (Jack Bishop), Kristen Burnside, Danielle Webster (Marcus) and Denise Hickey; great grandchildren: Benjamin, Carmen, Ava, Charlie and Leo; brother Otty Forgrave (Sandra) of Southfield, NB; sister-in-law Mabel Forgrave of Belleisle Creek, NB; as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Irma was predeceased by her loving husband James “Jim” Burnside; brothers: Tom, Nelson and Allen Forgrave; sister Jennie Smith; and infant sister Charlotte.
She met Jim, her future husband, at a dance in Rothesay while working in the Crosby home, and although she did not at first believe he was a brother to the other Burnside lads she knew (since he was considerably shorter), he eventually won her over and they were married in 1953. Irma may not have been born into the Burnside clan, but she quickly became the heart of the family, the one who in stayed in touch with the extended family scattered about Canada and beyond.
Irma enjoyed travelling, and while she and Jim took a few trips together, it was after his death in 1997 that Irma stepped it up, going on at least one or two trips a year. Like Johnny Cash, she’s “been everywhere, man” from one coast to the other in Canada, to various parts of the US and one very memorable month-long trip to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. She had an amazing green thumb and loved gardening in summer and her houseplants all year round. She was a champion knitter who knit and donated kids’ hats and mitts to the Hampton Food Bank for many years.
Irma did not believe in joining an organization unless she could make the commitment to be an active member. In today’s lingo, she went all in. The Nauwigewauk Community Club, the UCW for the St Andrew’s United Kirk and the Hampton Ladies Auxiliary can attest to Mum’s hard work. Whatever fundraising event they might have, Irma would be there. When the UCW sold Christmas goodie boxes for many years Irma would make literally hundreds of cherry balls every Christmas as her contribution.
Irma was a generous person. Generous with her time supporting the organizations she joined, generous with her money to her church and local charities such as the Hampton Food Bank, and generous with her heart as she reached out to everyone in her circle to stay in touch and offer her love and support. She created a warm and welcoming home for Debbie and Wayne, whose friends would often sleep over. Irma and Jim were never sure how many extra teenagers might be there for breakfast on weekends! Irma’s good cooking may have played a part in that. She liked nothing better than providing a good meal for a crowd, and did not “retire” from hosting Christmas dinner until she was 92.
Irma was a humble person. Someone who always saw the glass half full and who could find a humorous side to most anything. Who had in her words “a long life, a good life, and no regrets”. A lovely lady who never wanted anyone to make a fuss over her, she left this world as she wished, quietly in her sleep, no fuss.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the amazing people at Daeka Care Centre where Irma spent her final months as her health declined, to Dr Michael Bone for his wonderful care (who knew there were still doctors who will do housecalls), and to all of Irma’s circle of friends, but especially her “bestie” for many years, Marg Bennett.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Reid’s Funeral Home (506-832-5541), 1063 Main Street, Hampton, NB. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, from 4 - 7PM. The funeral service will take place on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 2:00PM from Reid’s Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will take place in the spring at St. Andrew’s United Kirk Cemetery, Hammond River, NB.
Although she loved flowers, Irma preferred them while she was living, and we would encourage you to donate to a charity close to your heart in her memory. If you are looking for suggestions, she always preferred to support local, so the Hampton Food Bank, your church, or any organization which supports kids would be appreciated. Personal condolences to the family and charitable donations may be made through: ReidsFH.com