Cover photo for Leota Burns's Obituary
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1927 Leota 2016

Leota Burns

December 24, 1927 — January 17, 2016

Leota Marie Burns, Mandan, died January 17, 2016 at Sanford Continuing Care Center off Collins in Mandan.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January 22, 2016 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan, ND with Rev. Shane Campbell as celebrant. Burial will be at Mandan Union Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home, with a Women of the Moose Ritual at 6:30 p.m. and a Rosary/Parish Vigil at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Friday.

Leota was born on December 24, 1927 to Leo D. and Gladys I. (Kent) Jochim in Timmer, ND. She always said she was her Mom’s Christmas gift to her Dad.

Leota’s Great Grandparents and Grandparents Jochim came to America from Odessa, Russia (Germans from Russia) in 1891 and settled and lived in the St. Anthony, Timmer and Flasher area for many years. She often talked about her father taking her to school with a horse and sleigh. She attended schools in Timmer, Breien, and Flasher and graduated from Flasher High School with honors. She was offered several scholarships but met the love of her life, Richard Burns, and married him on June 10, 1947 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bismarck.

They made their home in Mandan, ND, Cheyenne, WY, Riverdale, ND and finally settled in Mandan where they raised their seven children. It was very important to Leota that her children attend Catholic school and all of them attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Grade School.

She worked at Fraine Barracks in Bismarck, Montana Dakota Utilities, and finally as an accountant at Reichert Accounting in Mandan. She continued preparing taxes well into her retirement.

Leota and Dick spent many summers with the children at their Lake Isabel cabin south of Dawson, ND enjoying boating, skiing, and swimming. She made sure all her children went to swimming lessons and learned how to swim and was an avid swimmer herself. Hunting was a family tradition and Leota was an excellent markswoman, hunting right alongside her husband and family and processing the game afterward.

Leota always had a garden and enjoyed and shared the produce from it as well as canning and freezing it. She was an excellent seamstress, making many of the clothes her children wore and repairing those that required repair.

After retirement Leota and Richard spent many winters traveling to Arizona enjoying the weather there, but only after Christmas in North Dakota with their children. Christmas with all the kids and grandkids was very important to her and there was much laughter and chaos at the Burns home on this blessed holiday. Her travels included Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and several other U.S. states. She had a sense of adventure and loved to see new places and have new experiences. She also had a great sense of humor and would toss out one-liners up until the very end.

Leota had a strong will and a kind heart; she was the caregiver for Richard all through his struggles with Alzheimer’s disease and honored his last request to be kept at home until the end of his time. Her life changed drastically in October 2013 when she suffered a major stroke; however, her strong will and determination carried her through until she could fight no longer.

Leota will be deeply missed by daughters, Linda Ohm, Mandan, ND, Rebecca Burns, Bismarck, ND and Sheryl (Michael) Massey, Mandan, ND; son, Robert (Cheryl) Burns, Mandan, ND; daughters-in-law, Judy Frances Burns and Judy Mae Burns both of Mandan, ND, 10 grandchildren, Shannon Lewis, Justine Gooding, Corey Ohm, Jamey Ohm, Carrie McDaniels, Kristyne Otto, Garett Massey, Jessica Kuhn, Mitchell Massey, Derek Burns and 12 great grandchildren.

Leota will also be deeply missed by her “sister” at heart and cousin Josephine Helfrich, her Goddaughter Carolyn Morris, and her good friends Jenny Metzner and Arlene Selinger.

Leota was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Richard J. Burns on May 18, 2002; sons, Ronald, Richard L. and Rory; grandsons, Ryan and Ronald J. Burns (RJ); 2 sisters and 2 brothers and 3 infant grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family request memorials to St. Joseph Catholic Church or St. Joseph School.

Go to to sign the online guestbook and view tribute photos.

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