FAIRFIELD — Freda P. Burnor, age 101, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 surrounded by her loving family at her daughter’s home in South Carolina.
She was born in Montgomery on June 8, 1914 to the late Ernest & Iva (Lumbra) Touchette.
Freda married Charles A. Burnor on July 30, 1938 in St. Albans and together they raised their four children on their family farm in Montgomery. She was an entrepreneur for Stanley Home Products from 1967 until the present. Managed three meal sites in the towns of Enosburg, Montgomery and Fairfield for Champlain Valley Agency on Aging. After retiring, from CVAA at age 82, she announced she had a job interview the next day with the United Way Foster Grandparent Program and this is where she spent the next 18 years helping teachers in pre-school and kindergarten classes in the Fairfield community where she became known as “Gramma Freda.”
She was instrumental in starting and continuing the senior meals and accompanying programs at the Fairfield Community Center. She continued to raise funds, attend planning meetings and pay bills until Oct. 2014.
She became more active with her beloved St. Anthony/St. George Church after the passing of her husband Charlie. She loved being in choir and on the parish council as well as organizing fundraisers for the church. She was an avid quilter beginning at age 82 and donated many of them for the raffles. She received many awards for her outstanding community service with the most recent one in 2011 from the Community National Bank.
Her heart and home were in Vermont, filled with her favorite things. With her independence, ability to travel so late in life and knowing her home awaited her return, she was determined to be in the company of her family throughout the country to bond with her generations to follow. For years, her children let her know that they knew she loved what she was doing but when she was tired she was welcome to come and stay with them. Her response was always, “Let’s just see what next year brings.” As the years went by her words held true and at the end of each subsequent year she announced, “I signed up again.” Retirement was not an easy choice for her but “Gramma Freda” left her most rewarding job at the age of 99. Shortly after retiring in May 2013, she announced that she would sell her car and give up her choice to drive. Even at the age of 99, she was still a great role model and made it easy for her children.
She is survived by her children, James Burnor and his wife Barbara of Hanahan, S.C., Mary Walker and her husband Dale of Elk City, Okla. and Theresa Tessier and her husband Randy of Honea Path, S.C.; 14 Grandchildren, 30 Great Grandchildren, eight Great-great Grandchildren, and two Great-great-great-grandchildren; her sisters, Mary Cole of Johnson and Myrtle Casali of Jamaica Plain, Mass. and several nieces and nephews. Besides her parents and her husband, Freda was predeceased by her son, Larry Burnor; her daughter, June Smith; her siblings, Charles, Francis, Eugene and Robert Touchette, Phyllis Peluso and Margaret Burnor and her stepfather, Wallace Touchette.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 116 Church Rd., Fairfield. Interment will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery in Bakersfield.
Visitation will be held on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Spears Funeral Home, 96 Dickinson Ave., Enosburg Falls.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Anthony/St. George Catholic Church, P.O. Box 18, Fairfield, VT 05455, United Way – Foster Grandparent Program, P.O. Box 387, St. Albans, VT 05478, CVAA – Senior Meal Site Program, Development Department 76 Pearl Street, Suite 201, Essex Junction, VT 05452 and/or Fairfield Community Center, 124 School Street, East Fairfield, VT 05448.
Messages of condolence may be sent to Freda’s family online through www.spearsfuneralhome.com