Bernadette I. Burns

August 18, 1943 ~ April 28, 2021 (age 77)


Bernadette Burns of Mishawaka, IN, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 28th, 2021.

Bernadette was born in Streator, IL to the late Thrasilla Marchand and William Koch. She graduated in 1961 from Roanoke-Benson High School in Roanoke, IL where she enjoyed working in the library.

Following high school graduation in the 1960’s Bernadette was determined to make her mark in the man’s world of business with a can-do attitude and grit that many of her employees would come to respect. Bernadette owned Burns Rent-Alls, a local family-owned business for over 100 years that has grown to now serve the greater part of Michiana. One of her great accomplishments was being awarded a key to the city of Mishawaka, honoring her for exceptional customer service. Bernadette took great pride in supporting small businesses and local service people throughout her community. Bernadette was a member of the Granger Community Church where she was baptized and enjoyed community bible studies.

Bernadette is survived by three sons, Stephen (Regina) Burns Jr. of Mishawaka, Brian (Amanda) Rutherford of Granger and Brent Rutherford of Oregon, IL; three daughters, Christina (Rodney) Prescott of Niles, MI, Wendi Burns of Mishawaka and Susan (Jamie) Buford of New Carlisle; a brother Kenny (Kay) Koch of Metamora,IL; 20 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. 

Bernadette was preceded in death by her husband, Stephen Burns, a daughter, Theresa Burns, brother, William”Billy”Koch, and two sisters, Waverly (William) Heston and Nila (Walt) Burton.

Bernadette was a loving and cherished member of our family and will be dearly missed. She laughed often and enjoyed celebrating life with her loved ones. Please join us in celebration of her life. This is to be held on June 6th, 2021 at Battell Park 301 W Mishawaka Ave., Mishawaka, IN 46544, corner of Mishawaka Ave/Liberty Dr. from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.  Family and friends are welcome to join and celebrate Bernadette’s life. 

Arrangements are under the care of Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka.


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