AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – After a century on Earth, Minnie Burnside made the spiritual transition to her eternal heavenly skybox on Monday, August 15, 2022, to patiently await a Guardians (Indians) World Series championship. Hopefully, it won’t be a long wait but she can pass the time doing her word search puzzles and riding her exercise bike as she did well into her 90s.
Minnie was born November 28, 1921 and was raised on Oakland Avenue in Brier Hill – a particular source of pride – to the late Joseph and Philomena Ferraro Fish. Her parents had a profound influence on her life. Joe, an Italian immigrant, was a hardworking disciplinarian and Phil, a first-generation Italian-American, was a scratch cook and infamous player of “the bug.”
Minnie was a 1941 graduate of The Rayen School.
She worked at Hathaway Bakery where she quickly became an expert cake decorator, a skill that she practiced even late in life.
She married Myron H. Burnside, Jr. at The Chapel of Friendly Bells on November 25, 1948, coincidentally, the same year the Indians won their last World Series. Was this an omen? After starting married life in an apartment on Halls Heights on the city’s west side (near Mill Creek Park and not far from where Myron grew up), they moved to McDonald to raise their three kids, Linda, Larry and Bobby. Together, Myron and Minnie instilled in their kids a moral compass and fundamental values, traits that have served them well throughout their lives. The pride and joy provided to Minnie by her kids were renewed when she became “Nana” to her beloved grandkids, Andy and Ryan Getz, Christopher and Anthony Burnside and Angela Burnside Bell and then again when she became “G-G-Nana” to her great-grandkids, Lourenzo Getz, Eli and Brody Bell and Emma Burnside.
Minnie was the “go-to” baker and cook for all occasions including birthdays, weddings, holidays and family reunions. Her cookies were particularly famous, especially her snickerdoodles, which she sent to Bobby in Pringles cans, pizzelles and butterballs. (No, you still can’t have the recipe!) When she turned 90 and slowed down a bit, Minnie would apologize if she only made nine or ten kinds of cookies at Christmas but she was always sure to make each kid’s and grandkid’s favorite. Her “babydoll” breads were a cherished Easter tradition passed down from her mother and, again, one for each child and grandchild. Minnie bought flour in 25-pound bags to feed her boundless cavatelli production habit. In addition to innumerable more modest batches for family consumption, she often donated large batches to school and civic functions including more than 50 pounds for the 75th-anniversary celebration of The Village of McDonald. Minnie tirelessly hand cranked the cavatelli well into her 90s despite severe arthritis in her hands.
Some time in her 70s, Minnie became an ardent Cleveland Indians fan – that’s FAN, as in FANatic. She watched almost all of the televised games and when the games ran late, she was sure to catch the replay the next morning. Her vocabulary sometimes became more colorful during games when the Indians were “so stupid.” Over the years, Jim Thome, Michael Brantley and the Alomars, Roberto and Sandy Junior, were among her favorites and before his exit to the Mets, Frankie Lindor (whose bobblehead occupied a place of honor near the TV).
Minnie’s Christian faith was an important element of her life. She was a 70-year member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and faithfully attended Sunday services into her 90s. She read the Bible regularly and took to heart the requests from family and friends to “light a candle” when prayers were needed.
Minnie was a two-time breast cancer survivor. She had brain surgery, twice, a knee replacement and hip surgery at age 98. She endured painful scoliosis and arthritis and lived alone for over 40 years after Myron’s death in 1977 but she was a real trouper through it all and kept an amazingly positive outlook, overcame all obstacles and never lost faith. These challenging life experiences surely played a part in her role as the “greeting card lady” – sending birthday and anniversary cards to friends and family, locally and far afield, to remind them that there was someone who remembered and cared about them. She maintained a master calendar of celebration dates and bought greeting cards in bulk – especially when they were on sale and she had Kohl’s coupons.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her three children, Linda (Ray) Getz, Larry (Karen) Burnside and Bobby (Deb) Burnside; her grandchildren, Ryan Getz, Christopher (Megan) and Anthony (Liz) Burnside and Angela (Tim) Burnside Bell; her great-grandchildren, Lourenzo Getz, Eli and Brody Bell and Emma Burnside; her little sister, Phyllie Koker and several generations of nieces, nephews and cousins – most with Brier Hill roots.
In addition to her husband, Myron; her big brother, Nicky Fish; little sister, Janie Sabella and beloved grandson, Andy Getz, preceded Minnie in death.
At the time of her death, Minnie was a resident of Humility House in Austintown after having been a resident of Shepherd of the Valley Poland. Despite having lived independently for so long, Minnie adapted well to assisted living and made new friends with residents and staff.
A family memorial service will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022, at Grace Lutheran Church, 162 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown. Family members may pay their respects from 1:30 p.m. until the time of service.
Private entombment will take place.
Everyone in attendance is asked to follow Covid19 safety protocols by wearing a mask or face covering and respecting social distancing guidelines.
Minnie’s family would like to extend a very special and heartfelt thank you to the staff at Humility House for the kind, patient, and exceptional care they provided to Minnie during her time there.
In lieu of flowers, and in honor of Minnie’s thoughtfulness and her extensive calendar of “special dates,” Minnie’s family suggests sending a bouquet to a friend or loved one to let them know you’ve been thinking of them.
Monetary contributions may also be made to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 162 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown, OH 44515, or to a charity of your choice in Minnie’s memory.
The Greatest Generation has lost another charter member but Minnie’s indomitable spirit lives on and love is forever.
Buona sera, Minnie, Buona sera!!!
Arrangements have been entrusted to Kinnick Funeral Home in Youngstown.
A television tribute will air Thursday, August 18 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.