Janet J. (Keirstead) Burns

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  • "Rest in peace lovely lady."
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Service Information
Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home
199 Woodford Street
Portland, ME

PORTLAND - Janet J. Burns (Keirstead) passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 14 2019, surrounded by the love of her family. Janet was born on Oct. 7, 1934, to Wallace and Joyce Keirstead and raised on the Clover Leaf Farm in Presque Isle. She always cherished her memories on the farm with her cousins and her sister and had no problem telling people she was a county girl. She went to a one room school house until the sixth grade, before heading into the big city, to junior high and graduated from Presque Isle High School, in 1952.

Janet moved to Portland in 1958 where she raised her three children, while working part time as a book keeper for various businesses before going to work full time in 1968 for the Portland Boys and Girls Club. She loved what she did and loved all the kids that came and went through the doors of the club. Janet tried to retire in 1994 but after a year she missed the club and returned part time, until 1998, when she finally did retire.

Janet had many hobbies that always kept her busy, from singing and playing the piano to making her own clothes, quilts, drapes or knitting a sweater, she always had something going. She was also a member of Sweet Adelines International, singing in a quartet that competed all over the northeast. She was an active member of the Clark Memorial United Methodist Church, holding various positions and always singing in the choir with her daughter, Cynthia, also a talented musician. Janet was never one to sit idle. She had a puzzle going at all times, a word find book on the table and the daily crossword puzzle was done before noon.

Janet's greatest love was her family, from her three children, her four grandchildren, her great-grandchild and all the Keirsteads, from Presque Isle to Texas. Saying that she was active in her families lives would be an understatement as she never missed an important (or unimportant) event in any of her family's lives. She loved to take her grandchildren anytime and anyplace, often spending the whole weekend entertaining them. When one of her children went on vacation she was always invited and would chip in with whatever was needed. She loved to travel and went on cruises, Disney World and the Bahamas, to name a few.

Janet is survived by her son, Douglas Ashby and his wife, Kim, Eric Burns and his wife, Diane; her grandchildren, Philip Burns, Steven Burns, Dianne Burns and Emma Coombs; a great-grandson, Sebastian Burns; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was predeceased by her parents, Wallace and Joyce Keirstead; her sister Lois Butler; her daughter ,Cynthia Coombs, and son-in-law, Glen Coombs.

The family would like to invite you to a time of visitation on Saturday Jan. 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life service at 3 p.m. at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland. Committal services will be in the spring in Presque Isle.

You may offer your condolences or share your stories at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 17, 2019
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