Irene Winona Burns

October 13, 1936 – October 4, 2019
Irene Winona Burns passed away at Mountain Lakes in Nelson, October 4th 2019, after a courageous fight with cancer. With the support of family she was able to live independently at her home until her last few weeks when she was in palliative care.
A service will be held at Thompson Funeral Service on Saturday, Oct 19th at 2 pm with a tea to follow.
She will be greatly missed by all her family and her very close friends: her three sons Gary (Rachel), Gordon (Maureen), and Bruce Burns; past daughters in law Heather and Patti; grandchildren Sarah (Gene) Sache, Mack (Deirdre), Janice (Sven), and Angus Burns and Coleman (Noele) Burns and Kayla (Jake ) Mehring; great grandchildren Winston and Curtis Sache, Kole and Tessa Burns, and Berlin Rose Mehring.
Irene was pre-deceased by her father Bill Martin (1947), husband Bob Burns (1959), mother Norah Martin, (2005), brother Ed Martin (2009) and her husband Hank Coleman (2012).
Irene came from a West Kootenay pioneer family, Alfred and Esther Coleman, who homesteaded in Argenta, BC. Born in Nelson, BC on October 13, 1936, Irene spent her early childhood with her mother, brother and grandmother at the family homestead in Argenta. During WW II, while her father Bill served overseas in Canada’s military, she met her life-long friend and kindred spirit, Ruth (Peachey) Nuyens. Her father Bill was killed in an industrial accident shortly after his return to Canada and the Lardeau Valley after the war. Upon returning to Nelson in 1948 with her mother Norah and brother Ed, she attended High School and made many more life-long friends. In 1953 she married Bob Burns and had three sons. Having lost her husband Bob to an accident in 1959, Irene built a life-long relationship with friend, business partner and husband Hank Coleman and together they raised her three sons. As a businesswoman, Irene was instrumental in the success of their many notable business ventures here in Nelson.
Irene had a great love of family, was an excellent cook and how she loved to set a table. The family has fond memories of all the summer activities at their home on the North Shore of Kootenay Lake (beach barbecues, fishing, boating and birthday celebrations). She was quick, perceptive and smart, and with her mischievous spirit was a lot of fun. Irene was very fashion conscious and set her own styles. Many will remember her for her coordination of colors and accessories, especially her scarves, jewelry and glasses. At the same time, she had no fear of hard work, and would get right to the bottom of any task, no matter how nicely she was dressed. Irene enjoyed politics of all levels and was often active in supporting a campaign or scrutineering at elections.
Irene will always be remembered fondly and lovingly by her family and dear friends.
The family sincerely wishes to thank her understanding and caring Doctor, Andre Kirsten, and the palliative staff at Mountain Lakes for seeing to our Mum’s good care during her journey.
Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.


Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.