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Jolene F. (Hoferer) Burns

December 3, 1944 ~ January 6, 2022 (age 77)

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Jolene Faye (Hoferer) Burns, 77, of Essex, entered into rest on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Bergan Mercy Hospital in Omaha, NE, following a brief illness.  A celebration of life memorial service for Jolene will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at 11:00 am at St. John's Lutheran Church in Essex with Pastor Edward Bastedo officiating.  The family will greet relatives and friends with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church from 10:00 to 11:00 am on Saturday.  Inurnment will take place at a later date in the Essex Cemetery.  Memorials in Jolene's name are being directed to St. John's Lutheran Church - Essex or to the Essex Firefighters Association.  It is requested that attendees wear protective face masks, in consideration of others.


Jolene Faye (Hoferer) Burns was born December 3, 1944 in Yankton, SD to John Jacob Henry and Irene Helen Hoferer. Her older sister, Barbara thought that she was a gift to her for her to play with and take care of which created a bond that carried throughout the years between them. Jolene grew up on a farm near Center, NE and knew how to do all of the chores that any boy could do but she also knew how to take care of things in the house as well. Their family would later move to Niobrara, NE.

Jolene met Roger Ervin Burns at a dance in Niobrara, NE at the Z.C.B.J. Hall (Western Bohemian Fraternal Association), it is there that they would start their courtship of going to dances, cruising the streets of Niobrara, and going to O’Neill to the drive-in shows. They were united in marriage on July 03, 1961 in Niobrara, NE. Roger and Jolene shared a unique love that only got richer and deeper as time went on. The two of them were blessed with 60 years of marriage.

Jolene’s life could be described as one of family first, caretaking, being an advocate and showing tenacity. Her love for her family shines radiantly as it reflects on in all of her children and grandchildren and even on to her great-grandchildren. She had a unique way of making each grandchild feel special and all of them felt like they were the most important. The family home has always been home base.  Her career always focused around caring for others, usually those who could not speak for themselves. Being an advocate came easy for Jolene as she took care of each person as she would want to be treated. Jolene spent 25 years at Glenwood Resource Center caring for others before retirement. Her tenacity is one that her family will understand. She had such a spice for life and if she wanted to do something, she was going to do it. There were many adventures where her tenacity and mischievousness involved signs, chicken, mugs, and soup spoons. She was a real collector. In fact, her collection evolved to center around vehicles, a passion shared with her husband Roger. She restored a 1964 Ford Thunderbird, a 2000 Seafrost Pearl Jaguar and a 1999 Volkswagen Convertible. 

Jolene was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. She enjoyed her time with the ladies on her afternoons of quilting. She also was a member of Essex American Legion Auxiliary. It is difficult to list all of the interests and hobbies of Jolene because of how life changes. She loved when family and friends visited and each one was special to her. Playing cards, being out in the yard-whether putting flowers in or just mowing the yard was therapy for her.  Reading and logging every book she had read but still ending up reading some over again.  Her love of keeping up with everyone on social media, and watching a few of her favorite shows like: America’s Got Talent and Law and Order.  Lastly, we cannot forget her love for her golden retriever Penny, because she was her lucky penny. As Jolene continued to find pennies on the ground,she saw them as signs from her mother. When she got this beautiful dog and named her Penny, everyone knew what this dog would come to mean to Jolene.

She was preceded in death by her parents: John and Irene Hoferer, sister: Barbara Harrom and brother: Ronald Hoferer. Left to cherish her memory are her husband: Roger Burns, Essex, IA; brother: Jack Hoferer (Mary), Council Bluffs, IA; children: Roger Burns, Tucson, AZ; Dean Burns (Margaret), Essex, IA; Randy Burns (Kim), Essex, IA; Diane Shaff (Brad), Tulsa, OK; grandchildren: Anthony Burns (Jayme), Jeremy Burns (Kristin), Elizabeth Ferenchak (Jack), Cody Burns (Katie), Tyler Burns (Kayla), Aaron Burns, MacKenzie Swinford (Keith), Regan Dailey (Zach), Koreen Johnson, Jacob Balm, Samuel Burns, Tori Burns, Brooke Burns along with 19 great grandchildren.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jolene F. (Hoferer) Burns, please visit our floral store.


January 15, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church - Essex
104 East St
Essex, IA 51638

Celebration of Life Memorial
January 15, 2022

11:00 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church - Essex
104 East St
Essex, IA 51638


St. John's Lutheran Church - Essex
104 East St, Essex IA 51638
Tel: 1-712-379-3331

Essex Firefighters Association
P O Box 154, Essex IA 51638
Tel: 1-712-379-3711

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