Dora Maria Burns
Dora Maria Burns joined her soul mate and husband, John Craig Burns, in heaven on August 16, 2009. Dora died surrounded by her children and grandchildren, in the home she shared with her daughter’s family in Eureka, California.
Born Dora Maria Schiemann on September 16, 1925, in Koeningsburg, East Prussia, Dora lost her home, her country, and many members of her family during World War II. She was a quiet survivor of the Holocaust; never wanting to remember what she could never quite forget.
Dora met her husband John in England in 1952, where she worked as a secretary and he was a young sailor stationed at the American Embassy. John brought Dora to the United States in 1953, and they were married in August 1955. One of Dora’s proudest achievements was in becoming a United States citizen in 1960; she was deeply patriotic and appreciative of the freedoms afforded in her adopted country. As her husband John worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, Dora worked to raise their two children and perform all the duties unique to being a naval officer’s wife. Together the family traveled to duty stations throughout the United States and Asia.
Dora is survived by her beloved younger brother Dieter Graefe and his spouse Reid Anderson, of Stuttgart, Germany. She is also survived by her son and daughter-in-law Thomas and Katy Burns of San Francisco, and her daughter and son-in-law Sonia and David Samelson of Eureka, California. Dora’s love will live on in the hearts of her cherished grandchildren: Paul, Valerie (granddaughter-in-law), Shawna, Tadesse, and Thi.
Even as her health began to fail, Dora was an active member of the Eureka First United Methodist Church, where her son-in-law serves as pastor. She enjoyed attending Worship services every Sunday, volunteering in the church office, and helping at children’s events such as Vacation Bible School.
Dora greatly appreciated the devoted care she received from Dr. Lei Han-Winget, and her husband, Dr. Dale Winget. Dora’s family also wishes to thank Pia and the rest of the staff at Fortuna Family Medical Clinic, as well as the staff of Hospice of Humboldt.
A Candlelight Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2009, at 7 P.M., at Eureka First United Methodist Church, 520 Del Norte Street, Eureka, CA, 95501. In lieu of flowers, Dora asked that contributions in her memory be made to the Eureka First United Methodist Church, for Children’s and Youth Ministries.
Arrangements are under the care of Pierce Mortuary of Eureka.