Albertine Bell (Forsyth) Burns (98 years old) passed from the arms of her loving family into the arms of her heavenly father on 11 May 2021. Albertine was born to Minnie (Mamerow) and Henry Forsyth in Millington on 16 November 1922, the second of their 10 children. She attended the Delmar Country School through the eighth grade and was the valedictorian of the fiftieth Millington High School graduating class in 1940. Albertine was editor of the “1940 Cardinal” yearbook and participated in band and glee club throughout high school. In the fall of 1941, after studying for one year at Tuscola County Normal School in Caro, she was certified to teach in a country school. During the next nine years her beautiful Palmer cursive writing appeared on chalk boards at the Gunnell School, the State Road School on M-15, and at Mayville Community Schools. Simultaneously, she managed to take enough extension and correspondence classes during the school year, and classes at Eastern Michigan University during the summer, that by July of 1950 she had more than enough credits to finish her BS degree in education.
In 1950, she married Alfred Burns and together they celebrated 70 years of marriage. They had known each other since they were youngsters. Their marriage was the culmination of a romance that started when the young adults of the Methodist Church decided to write letters to the WWII-era servicemen and Albertine drew Alfred’s name. They were married on 27 August 1950 and moved into the original Burns family (Alfred’s grandparents) homestead on Arbela Road. Albertine thought her teaching days were behind her; however, four years later, teachers were very scarce, and she found herself back in the classroom teaching elementary vocal music and then third grade at Millington Community Schools until her real retirement in December 1978.
Music was a very important and rewarding component of Albertine’s life. After only one year of piano lessons, and before her feet could even reach the foot pedals, she began to play for Sunday school and worship services at the Methodist Church which she attended her entire life. She continued to play the piano or organ for church, Sunday school, weddings, and funerals for over 65 years. She played the piano for the Millington Rotary Club Charter Night in 1940, gave piano lessons, and accompanied high school band students at solo and ensemble performances. She directed the children’s choir at church and accompanied the adult choir.
Albertine was also the bookkeeper for Burns Poultry Farms, Inc., from 1956 until 1998, and helped out selling eggs at the Detroit Eastern Market on Saturdays during the early 1960s. This left little time for hobbies; however, she found time to sew clothes for herself and her family, have a garden, preserve produce from her garden, read, and do various kinds of hand work. She was a very good cook, perhaps most famous for her potato boats. For nearly 40 years, she hosted the Forsyth family on Thanksgiving Day. The last gathering in 1997 included 86 relatives. She loved history and was thrilled when she learned four years ago that she was a Mayflower descendent.
Albertine is survived by her husband Alfred; children, Trudy Burns, Susan Burns, Wayne (Patricia Eno) Burns; granddaughters, Leah and Kaitlin Burns; sister Elinor Kroll, brother James Forsyth, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, and seven brothers and sisters: Gertrude Foley, Henry Forsyth, Helen Forsyth, Burton Forsyth, Norman Forsyth, Carolyn Pletcher, and Wilma Jean Forsyth.
Friends and family are invited to visit with the family and share their memories of Albertine on Friday, May 14 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Hanlin Funeral Home, and on Saturday, May 15 from 10:00 to 11:00 am at the Millington United Methodist Church.
Albertine’s funeral service will be at the Millington United Methodist Church on Saturday, May, 15 at 11:00 am. Memorial gifts can be directed to the Millington United Methodist Church, or the Millington-Arbela Historical Society.
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