Arlene Burns

Arlene Burns

February 1, 1937 June 9, 2020

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Obituary for Arlene M. Burns

Arlene M. Burns, 83, passed away on June 9, 2020, in her West Reading residence.

She was the wife of James R. Burns; they were married on March 16, 1957.

Born in Oley, she was a daughter of the late Arthur W. and Ella D. (Manwiller) Hoffmaster.

She was a graduate of Mt. Penn High School in 1954.

The greatest gift she gave her family was staying home to help raise and guide her three loving children. She also worked at Salon's Department Store, West Reading for 14 years and volunteered at the Reading Hospital Gift Shop.

She loved to shop at Boscov's, vacation in the islands, and listen to music.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her three children: Kathleen A. Bethke, Exeter Twp., Timothy M. Burns and Mark A. Burns both of West Reading and three grandchildren: Yeardley Y., wife of Jordan Landis, Gabriella F. Burns, and Caleb M. Burns. Two siblings, Shirley, wife of Richard Huhn, Birdsboro and David, husband of Catherine Hoffmaster, Stouchsburg.

A viewing will be held Saturday, June 13, 2020, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc., West Reading with services to begin at 11 a.m. Burial will be Monday, June 15, 2020, at 1 p.m. at Forest Hills Memorial Park. Contributions may be made to American Cancer Society at Condolences may be expressed at

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    June 13, 2020 | 9:30am - 11:00am
    Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc.
    739 Penn Avenue
    West Reading, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    June 13, 2020
    9:30am - 11:00am
  • Service

    June 13, 2020 | 11:00am
    Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc.
    739 Penn Avenue
    West Reading, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    June 13, 2020
    Rev. Schaun Myers
  • Interment

    June 15, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Forest Hills Memorial Park
    391 W. Neversink Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    June 15, 2020


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Mike & Bonnie Keffer and Gregory Linton sent flowers to the family of Arlene M. Burns.
Hand delivered by a local florist
Mike & Bonnie Keffer and Gregory Linton sent flowers to the family of Arlene M. Burns.
Hand delivered by a local florist

Joanne Plack

My deepest sympathies to the Burns Family. Your mom always had a smile on her face and was so generous with her time and conversation. She cared so deeply for people and when she asked, "how are you?" or "how's your family", she truly meant those words. She was sweet and kind and her family was most important to her. She always found time for others. Her heart was full of love! I cannot think of my childhood in West Reading without remembering your mom. Joanne (Guercia) Plack
Comment | Posted at 06:20pm via Condolence

Tammy Huhn

Arlene was my aunt (my mother's sister). I am very proud to say that.
I am going to miss our conversations we had. Either it was on the phone or in person.
She had issues that set her back. Now all those issues are gone. Well Aunt Arlene I know for sure you are sitting up heaven enjoying your new home. Tell Ron and nana I said hello. Looking forward to seeing you again.
Love you and miss you very much.
Your favorite and only niece.
Comment | Posted at 06:20am via Condolence

Wendy Hinsey

Jim, Tim, Kathy, Mark and families

Our deepest sympathy to all of you on your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Russ and Wendy Hinsey
Comment | Posted at 11:34am via Condolence

Mark Burns

Mom you will be dearly dearly missed. Your Son Mark
My Mom
Arlene M. (Hoffmaster) Burns
Born: Monday, February 1st, 1937
Died: Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

This past Tuesday was a very hard day in losing my dear mom to her battle with cancer. The good Lord knew all of her 83 years, 4 months, 1 week and 2 days of her meaningful and loving life she lived well. In Psalm 139:16 it states, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

The Lord created this special woman, my Mom to be the loving wife to my Father for 63 years of faithful marriage. Public Acknowledgment to my dad - Thank you Dad for your unconditional, relentless, and selfless love to mom. You were a rock to mom and she and you were two inseparable people. Thank you Dad for your Godly example of loving mom.

My Mom was the faithful, loving and caring Mom to her three children, my older sister Kathy, my older brother Tim and myself. Public Acknowledgment to Kathy and Tim - I would like to acknowledge my elder siblings for their amazing loving care for mom during her season of her illness. I am thankful and honored to have you have my sister and brother. In reflection it was likened to God weaving a tapestry of art through His placement of us in this synergistic way for us to honor and care for our mom during these last months.

My Mom had an extra special place in her heart for her three grandchildren my Brother Tim’s daughter Yeardley, and my children, Gabriella and Caleb. Oh, my, for a dime for all the words she had in conversations related to her grandchildren, which were all truly motivated by....LOVE!!....and if I had a dime for each of those times I could live comfortably to ripe age of 100 years old It should be noted she loved my little near 15 year old miniature Dachshund Noah many times visiting my parent’s house she'd ask about him or bringing him up to their house. She loved him so and would asked many times if could watch him even when she and dad were limited in the physical capabilities to do so.

Things most important to my Mom was her dedication to her husband, her family, her friends….and Mom had many friends too. Some of you are here today and thank you for being a good friend to my mom. She loved going out to eat, and food was the common denominator that brought family and friends together. This was dear joy to her and I know when she got to quite sick along with pandemic situation that was hard for her as going out eat was joy for her. A special gift for my mom for a special occasion would be a gift certificate to a restaurant or eatery. It should be noted that in many eatery venues around Berks County she had specific relationships with waitresses and waiters who she knew personally by name and would request at times to be seated within a Restaurant area of one of the servers she knew. My mom was grand example of an individual who loved about a person who reveled in being a people, that was she, it came about naturally and she had a special way about her in being so personable. A great trait she had in being a friendly friend to people!!! She could meet a person for the first time and hit it off and come away like she knew that person for quite some time. Put my mom in front of people to talk or give a speech, that would not be her placement but integrated in life paths with natural communications with all types people yes there she was as a friendly friend in that environment she thrived in. I am certain there are many accounts and stories held dear in this room here today to bear further witness this. Thank you for that example you set for us mom!

My mom had a great love for Hawaii and tropical islands and she and Dad made trips to Hawaii, Cancun and Aruba to mention a few. That was a passion of hers and it would bless her as Dad on a birthday or anniversary would get tropical flowers for her.

My mom loved to shop and my Dad may have burned through a near tire factory worth of tires taking my mom around town to shop. The thing is many of the times she was out getting gifts or cards for other people, a family member, a friend or someone she knew from Church. One of her favorite places to shop was good old Boscov’s Dept Store and their little known jingle, “Did You Boscov Today”, well if it was up to my Mom, likely she did! Oft times on a Friday night she and dad might be found eating at The Greenery Restaurant at Boscov’s North. I know because just a few months ago I joined them for one of those Friday night meals. Growing up I can recall her shopping many times at the old Pomeroy’s Department Store at 6th and Penn Streets in Reading. We would go there and shop for school clothes or jump over down the street on Penn Street to Joseph’s to shop there as well. I can also recall when I was little tike she would be in Pomeroy’s and Dad and I would be waiting in the rear of Cherry St and I actually would think that she would never come out of that building and thought that maybe the building had swallowed her up. An interesting fact about my mom was back in the 1970’s she worked part-time at the old Salons Department Store at 6th and Penn Avenues in West Reading. She loved doing that too.

My mom loved loved loved to send cards to people for any and all occasions. She and Hallmark were best of friends and this blessed her to be able to bless others on their special day or occasion with this card-giving ministry she had! Some here may have a stockpile of cards you got from my mom and dad. Thanks mom for that example of having a giving and thoughtful heart towards others.

The Church was an important facet of my mom life. I truly believe the groundwork my mom laid of establishing us children in Sunday School in our early years and being connected in a Church family being vitally important, was a mighty great influence in my coming to faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Those tiny mustard-type seeds sown into my young heart were due to my Mom's leading influence, and for that I am forever grateful to my dear Mom for this. Thank you Mom for that. In my mom and dad’s more active years they were very much part of the congregational family life of St. James Church, right down the street here on Penn Ave. She loved going to the Wednesday evening Agape Bible Studies that were led by Pastor Richard and Kay Behle. It dazzled my mom in the singing portions of those evenings as music and hymns had a special place in her heart. I can recall many times attending these Wednesday Nights together where it may have been very likely that two songs would be sung that evening, “Change My Heart Oh God” and “Gentle Shepherd”. My mom too was involved at the church as a Sunday School teacher’s assistant, the pulpit/altar paramount ministry and she may have been seen plugged in during summer time Vacation Bible School’s as well. It was a special desire of my mother to have Pastor Schaun officiate her memorial service and I thank Schaun for being here to have that desire of my mom’s heart realized here today. You, Darlene and your daughters were very dear my mom.

In the last weeks of my mom’s life I had some unique times with her and reading the bible with her and talking about eternity and the good news of Jesus Christ. She listened closely as some of the places of scripture reading with her were from Psalm 27, Psalm 34, Psalm 139, and portions of Romans chapters 3, 5 and 10. And on Thursday evening May 14th I had a beautiful interaction with my mom as we shared John 3:16-17. As I brought up John 3:16, she recited that passage and then I said to my Mom, I have a question for you, “Do you think Jesus came into the world to condemn people?” She listened and then I shared verse 17 of John chapter 3, which states “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” So in closing dear family and friends, I do not know your heart but do know God demonstrated His own love for us in this that while we were yet sinners, Christ died. As today we have a fresh reminder of our own mortality and that we are each one heartbeat away from eternity. Today if you recognize that you are not at peace with God through repenting of your sins and placing faith in Jesus Christ, might today be that day you have true peace with the Creator of the Universe by looking to the One, Jesus Christ, who died in your place that you may forgiven and have eternal life with Him. Don’t wait for tomorrow that day for you may not come.

Comment | Posted at 04:03pm via Condolence

Elaine Reinert

May you find consolation in knowing that others care. I always thought Arlene was a very unique person. Please except my heartfelt sympathy. Elaine Reinert
Comment | Posted at 01:08pm via Condolence

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