Ariene M. Burmeister

Arlene Mary Burmeister, nee Driscoll, beloved wife of Keith Burmeister, sister to Judith Driscoll, niece to Marge Pardo and aunt and great aunt to many nieces and nephews, passed away on Saturday, June 16th after a sudden illness. During her last hours, loved ones surrounded her. Arlene was born September 29, 1939. A life-long Chicagoan, she attended Visitation High School, Mundelein College and later Loyola University, where she earned a Master’s degree in History. Arlene taught history in the Chicago Public Schools, spending most of her career at Hubbard High School. Keith and Arlene married in 1968 and settled in the south side home where they spent the remainder of their marriage together. After retiring, Arlene and Keith traveled the world, visited museums, attended operas, concerts, the theatre and read voraciously. Arlene’s intellectual curiosity was not limited to history, as reflected by the pile of Time magazines going back a couple years that were piled at her bedside. Well informed and open minded in considering all sides of an issue, Arlene was always ready for a lively conversation on current events. Arlene and Keith had many friends and enjoyed entertaining and attending family and social gatherings. They traveled yearly with friends to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival where they would see every single play. As a beloved aunt, Arlene was a great influence in the lives of her family. Her happy laugh will always be remembered, as well as her effortless selflessness and positive outlook. Arlene was above all agreeable, kind and tolerant to others. She never had an unkind word to say of anyone. Arlene was an avid collector of many things, especially books. She never returned from a trip without gifts and trinkets for each of her many nieces and nephews. She read to her nieces and nephews long after they could read themselves. Arlene loved to dance to anything with a beat and always danced like no one was watching. She would discuss an episode of Start Trek as seriously as the latest opera performance. Arlene recently visited Harry Potter World and enjoyed it as much as a tour of the Coliseum. As a beloved wife, adored aunt and loving sister, Arlene will be missed and always remembered, especially for what she taught us about life and learning. By example, she taught all of us to enjoy the time you have, never stop learning and questioning and that it is important to get up and dance when music is playing. Visitation is from 3:00 to 9:00 Tuesday at Thompson & Kuenster Funeral Home, 5570 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn and the funeral and mass will be at St. Cajetan Church at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Arlene was an avid reader and book lover all of her life and loved passing this joy onto the next generation through the gifts of books at every occasion to her nieces and nephews, as well as reading to them. To continue that spirit of the gift of reading, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to "Bookwallah", a Live to Support Chicago Charity whose goal is to collect children's books and set up libraries in orphanages and children's homes worldwide. Donations can be made directly at


John WonsComment