Nina Catherine Burns
February 10, 1930 – March 31, 2022
It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Nina Catherine 'Cay' Burns (nee Gardiner) in her 93rd year at Southlake Regional Medical Centre, Newmarket.
Predeceased by her parents Lawrence C. 'Pete' Gardiner and Isabel Nina Gardiner (nee Thompson). Devoted wife to George Rodgers Burns, who together were married for 66 years. She is survived by her brother Gary (Jean) Gardiner. Dear mother to Colleen Cassidy of Sunderland, Cameron Burns of Kingston, Cathy (Peter) Waring of Sutton West, and Christopher (Treena) Burns of Sutton West. Loving grandmother to Rebecca, Matthew, Graeme, Natalie, Caitlyn, Colin, Brandon, Sarah, and Spencer.
Cay was born in Toronto where she grew up in Forest Hill. She spent her summers at her family's cottage at Willow Beach, Lake Simcoe. It was there that she met her future husband George in the summer of 1945. George and Cay were married at St. Aidan's Church, Toronto, March 13, 1954.
In 1974 the family cottage at Willow Beach was reluctantly sold. Cay and George subsequently purchased a heritage property on Hedge Road, known as 'Plumstead' (ca. 1822), as a replacement summer property. In a short period of time the pull of the lake and the happy memories of time spent there together prompted a decision to sell the family home in Willowdale and become permanent residents of Georgina. George and Cay became well entrenched in the local community and developed deep and lasting relationships. Cay was very involved with the St. George's and St. James Anglican communities. Plumstead was a popular Bed & Breakfast for many years – Cay prepared the breakfast while George provided the entertainment. A woman of many talents, Cay was a skilled seamstress, baker, quilter and knitter.
In retirement, George and Cay indulged their shared love of travel. A highlight for Cay was a trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth II. Often at Christmas, Cay generously bankrolled a few days at a resort for the entire family to spend time together. She enjoyed company but was also famous for retreating to a quiet place to curl up with a cat, a romance novel and a chocolate bar.
Cay was a deeply spiritual person who took great pleasure in helping others. Cay and George selflessly brought many individuals into their home to provide support and encouragement. They built a home environment that was loving, entertaining, welcoming and non-judgemental.
Cay will be missed for her gentle spirit, love of animals (especially of the Golden Retriever and Siamese variety), easy laughter, thoughtfulness and grace. She was especially grateful for the excellent care she and George received in their final years from Cedarvale Lodge, Keswick.
A Celebration of Life, is planned for George and Cay, to be held at the Briars, Sunday April 24 from 2 to 4 pm. In lieu of flowers it was Cay's wish that donations be made to St. James Anglican Church, Sutton West.