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Rose Anna Burnison

Rose Anna (Houlihan) Burnison, age 97, of Sioux Falls, SD, passed away at her home on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

Rose Anna was the sixth of nine children born to Nora Gertrude (Coughlin) and Michael Marcus Houlihan, on a farm near Lane, SD on April 13, 1924. Rose Anna was 100% Irish, and proud to be so. A true storyteller, she not only lived a long and full life, but also remembered and recounted her experiences to all.

In childhood, she attended country school, and could run so fast she beat the boys. She loved to spend time with Pa and would help her younger brothers herd cattle. Rose's stories offered glimpses of a time when Pa would accompany the Houlihan girls to the dance hall at Ruskin Park near Forestburg, SD and sit in the car to assure their safe return home. She attended Lane High School, Notre Dame Teacher’s College of Mitchell, SD. and Huron College. Rose was an educator for 33 years, and could recall classroom conversations with her students long after they were grown.

In 1948 she met Kenneth LeRoy Burnison on a blind date. They dated until Rose knew he could laugh at all her jokes, and were married August 9, 1952 at St Wilfred’s Church in Woonsocket, SD. Rose and LeRoy raised 8 children, all of them “good kids.” 

A true matriarch of the Burnison and Houlihan families, Rose’s residence was a revolving door of visitors joining her for a meal, sneaking cookies from the freezer, or just coming for a chat. Rose told and re-told stories to her 8 children, 26 grandchildren, and 29 great-grandchildren. Rose celebrated her 97th birthday this past April with her kids and grandkids after a year of video calls and distanced garage encounters. 

She was preceded in death by parents: Gertrude and Michael; siblings: Joseph Houlihan, Marie Sveningson, Gertrude Sauter, Ellen Pegg, Bernice Baber, Michael Houlihan and Patrick Houlihan: husband LeRoy Burnison; grandchildren: Hannah Burnison and Leyton Burnison; and son-in-law: Mark Steinborn. She is survived by one brother: Leo Houlihan; and her children: Teresa (Don) Ondrak, Kevin (Joyce) Burnison, Tim (Jacque) Burnison, Joseph (JoLynn) Burnison, Doreen Burnison, Barbara (Monte) Glanzer, Carolyn (Mark) Steinborn, and Diane (Shawn) Smith.

Visitation will be Sunday, January 9, 2022, 5:00 PM at Barnett-Lewis Funeral Home located at 901 S Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, followed by a 6 PM prayer service and Rosary.  Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, January 10, 2022, 10:30 AM at St. Michael Catholic Church, Sioux Falls, SD, followed by a luncheon. Interment will be at St Michael Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Rose's favorite charity: the Alzheimer's Association or a charity of your choice. 

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