Naugatuck – Mary Lou Burmeister, 88, passed away peacefully on June 20th at her home, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born February 8, 1932, in Waterbury, the daughter of the late Lewis and Marie (Mahar) Carroll. She was raised in Naugatuck, where she attended St. Francis Grammar School and Naugatuck High School. She graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing and Mattatuck Community College.
Upon graduating from nursing school, Mary Lou began a long rewarding career as a Registered Nurse; first working at St. Mary’s Hospital, then as a private duty nurse. In 1974 she joined the Naugatuck School System, where she served for 22 years as the school nurse at both Salem and Hillside Schools, then as the district supervisor of school nurses. Nursing was a perfect career fit for her, as it provided her many opportunities to employ her kind, caring, and empathetic nature. She loved her work as a school nurse, remembering most every student’s name even many years later. Mary Lou touched many lives as a school nurse and was delighted to hear that many still remember her as the “best school nurse” they ever had.
As a lifelong Naugatuck resident, Mary Lou was devoted to serving her town. Her contributions included serving on the Town of Naugatuck Board of Finance, the Naugatuck Chapter of the Red Cross, the American Red Cross Disaster Team, and the Naugatuck Valley Health Board. She was an active member of the Naugatuck Historical Society for many years where she also led the children’s educational programs. She was honored by the Naugatuck High School Alumni Association for her dedication and commitment to the community in 2014.
Mary Lou showed her strong faith as a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, where she served as a Eucharistic Minister. She was a member of the St. Mary’s Hospital Alumni Association, the Naugatuck Garden Club, the Howard Whittemore Library Book Club, and the Naugatuck Senior Center Art Group. While attending nursing school, she sang as one of “The Three Honeys”, a musical trio who performed locally and even on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour television show in NYC.
Mary Lou was a gifted and prolific artist. Over the years Mary Lou expressed her love by creating and gifting meaningful paintings of children, pets, nature, and seasonal scenes. Right up to the very end, it brought her great joy to give thoughtful gifts to family and friends.
Mary Lou surrounded herself with the love of family and friends throughout her life. After growing up as an only child, Mary Lou wanted a large family and her devotion to her family was immeasurable. Every Sunday for more than 60 years, grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren would squeeze around the table and share a meal, stories, and laughter. She loved to laugh and had an engaging sense of humor, even in her final weeks.
Mary Lou is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, Richard Allen Burmeister; daughters Carroll Pereira (Joe) of Hertford, NC and Cathy Burmeister (Susan) of Kennebunkport, ME; sons William Burmeister (Margit) of White Plains, NY, Paul Burmeister (Roberta) of Oldsmar, FL, and Jeffrey Burmeister of Naugatuck; grandchildren Nicholas (Nicole), Daniel and Joseph (Megan) Pereira and Katharine, William, and Abigail Burmeister; and great-grandchildren Logan, Grayson, and Brynn Pereira. She is also survived by childhood friend Sandra Clark and longtime friend Toni Maguire, both of Naugatuck, as well as many other close friends throughout the area.
The family thanks the kind, caring providers at the Harold Leever Cancer Center and specifically Dr. Kert Sabbath and Karen Hammond for their exceptional treatment and compassionate care.
Arrangements – A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, June 25th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church with a private committal service in St. James Cemetery. The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Naugatuck is assisting with arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, 1075 Chase Pkwy, Waterbury, CT 06708; or Naugatuck Special Olympics, c/o Donna Taylor, 119 Periwinkle Drive, Middlebury, CT 06762; or Seymour Pink Inc., PO Box 333, Seymour, CT 06483.