Patricia Pauline McMenamin Burns

06/03/1919 – 02/05/2024


On February 5th, 2024, we lost one of the sweetest, energetic, spontaneous, and inspirational people to grace our presence. She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Nordland, WA, on Marrowstone Island, with loving care from family and hospice staff.

Patricia’s (Pat) first home was Fort Flagler, then Fort Casey, on to Fort Kamehameha, Hawaii, and landing last at Fort Worden, as the family followed her father’s military career.

Pat attended elementary school in Hawaii, graduated from Port Townsend High School, and was the Rhododendron Queen in 1939, before marrying and raising her family in Seattle. After traveling around the country and the world, Pat and her husband Bud settled down in the home they had built for Pat’s mom Elida (Lee) in Nordland, WA.

Pat’s connection to Nordland started long ago. Her grandparents, Tollef and Pauline (Jorgensen) Solie, arrived on the island in the early 1890’s, coming from Sola, Norway. Hearing the island was like their home country, they bought a 10-acre plot at the end of Mystery Bay, still in family hands. Tollef was a ship carpenter in Norway. His boat sheds on Mystery Bay held pilot boats in for repairs, used for aiding Port Townsend Bay clipper ships. When he arrived on the island, he built several homes, the school, and buildings at Fort Flagler, and Fort Worden, as well as the home for his growing family. Tollef and Pauline had eight children, one of whom was their daughter, Lee, who grew up in the current Solie Home.

Lee met Patrick McMenamin, stationed at Ft. Flagler, and married him at the Solie residence in 1915. They had two daughters, Margaret, born in 1916, and our Patricia, born in 1919.

After the family settled at Fort Worden, Pat continued her schooling and graduated from Port Townsend High School in 1937. She was incredibly active, playing tennis, swimming, and dancing... she loved to dance.

Pat worked for JC Penney in Port Townsend. She attended the U of W to become an architect, but her father Patrick died, and with money now tight, her dream was set aside. She worked at Indian Island during WWII, was Windemere Real Estate Co. founder, Nyal Headley’s executive secretary in Seattle, and worked for People’s Bank.

While in Seattle, Pat married Louis (Bud) Burns in 1946. Lieutenant Bud managed Station 5, housing the fireboats next to Ivar’s on Pier 54 until retirement. Together they raised three children, Steven, Barbara, and Timothy Burns. She had a loving count of 11 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren in 6 states (WA, OR, CA, NV, OK, TX). Bud and Pat were Marrowstone Island’s Citizen of the Year in 1994. Bud died in 1995.

The family spent many years in Seattle. During this time, Pat was very involved in the Ryther Child Center, rallying other families to become involved. The family often had foster children staying with them. Her son Steve particularly remembers Harry, Carl, and Doug. She was active in the Fauntleroy Community Church and YMCA.

After retirement, Pat and Bud moved to the island in 1977 to be close to Pat’s mother, Lee. They became very involved with Marrowstone life. They, and their neighbors, the Taylors, were part of the group that was instrumental in getting the Marrowstone Ambulance service to the island. Pat drove the ambulance until age 72, when she “aged out” and the insurance company would no longer cover her. She drove for the local ECHO service until she was 95, delivering patients to their appointments. Pat was a member of the Marrowstone Island Garden Club for 38 years, the Friends of Fort Flagler, the Marrowstone Island Community Association, and the Chevy Chase Golf Club (now Discovery Bay Golf Club). Pat played golf at least twice a week with the Discovery Bay Golf ladies, her favorite tribe of friends, and her buddy, Norma. She did her own gardening, went to the movies, loved local concerts and theater, and swam in Mystery Bay until she was 104 years old. She played pickle ball on her court installed 4 decades ago, until she said she wasn’t as good as she used to be.

Pat was an incredibly young 104 and two-thirds! Whenever she was asked to go somewhere, she said YES! Her middle name should have been “GO”. When asked about the best time of her life, she said, RIGHT NOW! A celebration of her long life will be scheduled for Spring.

Family and friends may share memories of Pat and sign the online guestbook at