Bernice “Bunny” Elizabeth Mackin Burris entered into God’s embrace on September 8, 2022 following a brief illness. Bunny and her twin sister Mimi were born on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1932, to George Ellis Mackin and Loretta Cotter Mackin.
Bunny spent her early life in Madison and graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison with a degree in Recreational Leadership. She was an active member of Alpha Phi during college, and maintained friendships with many of her sorority sisters throughout her life. In 1954 she married Richard Smith “Smitty” Burris at St. Paul’s Catholic Chapel on the University campus. They lived in Georgia and Germany during his service in the Army, and moved to Green Bay in 1956, where they raised their five children. In 1992, they built a home in the woods in Luxemburg, where they lived until Smitty’s death in 2012. Bunny then returned to Green Bay for the next ten years.
Bunny spent many years volunteering her time and talents as an active member of the Brown and Kewaunee County Republican parties, including serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. She was awarded the 8th District “Ladder of Liberty” Leadership Award in 2017 and was honored in April 2021 for her long-standing dedication and leadership to the 8th District.
She gave over 35 years to the Girl Scouts as a troop leader, camp counselor, camp director and served for four years as President of the Lac Baie Girl Scout Council. She served for many years as a poll worker for the Town of Allouez, was a member of the Service League of Green Bay, served on the boards of the United Way of Brown County, Children’s Service Society, St. Matthew Catholic Church Board of Education, and past president of the St. Matthew’s Christian Mothers.
Bunny relished her role as wife, mother and grandmother and loved spending time with family, doing arts and crafts, golf, skiing and thoroughly enjoyed both domestic and international travel. She lived her 90 years to the fullest, and was known by many for the caring goodness and joy she brought to so many lives. Her kindness was felt by everyone who had the honor and pleasure of knowing her.
She is preceded in death by her parents, George and Loretta Mackin, her spouse of 52 years, Richard “Smitty” Burris, her twin sister Miriam “Mimi” Mackin Bentley and infant granddaughter, Rose Conteh-Morgan.
She is survived by daughters Nancy (Corky) Perret (Poplarville MS), Kathy (Jeff) Peterson (Minnetonka MN), Sharone (Obai) Conteh-Morgan (Wauwautosa WI), and Mary Jo (Rich) O’Dea (Lino Lakes MN), and son Rick (Amani) Burris (Madison WI); 11 grandchildren, Nia and Levi Burris, Clare and Nola Conteh-Morgan, Dan, Matt, Michael and Jack O’Dea, Todd and Melanie Perret, and Caitlin Peterson; great-granddaughter, Camille Perret; and brother-in-law Gordon Bentley (Montello WI).
The family extends its profound gratitude for the loving care provided to Bunny by the care teams at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Odd Fellow Nursing Home and Unity Hospice during her brief illness.
A visitation and funeral mass will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM respectively at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 130 St. Matthews Street, Green Bay WI.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Matthew Catholic Community or Unity Hospice are appreciated. To leave an online condolence please visit www.NewcomerGreenBay.com