Mary Magdalene (Burns) Gettino

November 28, 1923September 12, 2021
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Mary Magdalene Burns Gettino was born November 28, 1923 in Solvay, NY to William J. and Mary C. Burns. She graduated from Solvay High School 1941 at age 17. Mary planned a career as an airline stewardess, which at that time required a Nursing degree. Because she was too young to enroll she began working for the local Draft Board in Solvay. She prescreened potential inductees for WWII. In 1942, she attended a local business school becoming proficient operating a comptometer machine. Mary was promptly hired at Brown-Lipe Chapin (a division of GM). Mary worked in the accounting/payroll office until the war ended.

On Saturday, July 14, 1945 she married her fiancé Nicholas Gettino upon his return to the US after being liberated from a German POW prison camp. Once married, Mary and Nick moved to Texas until Nick’s discharge from the Air Force. Nick returned to college to finish his mechanical engineering degree while Mary went home to Solvay to stay with her parents. Their first child was born shortly thereafter in November 1946. By the time their second son was born in July 1948, they had returned to Syracuse permanently.

During their many years in Syracuse Mary was a stay-at-home mom who raised seven children and two dogs. Mary was a devout Catholic since early childhood and continued to be active in their local parish - St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. She was a member of the Altar and Rosary society and was involved in many fundraising events. Mary and Nick were also part of a Catholic couple group during these years. For most of Mary’s life she attended daily Mass. Mary and Nick traveled with their youngest daughter Elizabeth (Biz) to Medjugorje, Bosnia to visit the site of a Marian apparition. It was a life changing experience. She also visited Our Lady of Knock in Ireland with her two daughters, Mary and Kathy. On a trip to Italy, while in Rome, she had the blessed opportunity to see Pope John Paul II. As his vehicle passed by her, they reached out to each other and The Living Saint touched Mary’s hand.

Mary was a gifted artist, first working with pastels, oil paints, watercolor and finally acrylic. She belonged to the Camillus Art Guild for years and showed and sold her work at many local venues. Mary was a prolific knitter….warming the hands of all her kids and later her grandchildren and great grandchildren with a constant supply of mittens, hats, scarves and blankets. Sweaters were a special treat. After most of the kids left the nest, she volunteered at a local HELP/suicide prevention call-in line for troubled and desperate people. She found this work very rewarding but also heartbreaking.

In 1978, Nick and Mary moved to Detroit, MI. Mary decided to get a realtor’s license and joined Century 21. She worked there for two years until they returned to Syracuse. She was hired at the local Century 21 office continuing to work for several more years.

In 1994, they decided to become snowbirds and purchased a second home in Florida very close to their son Nick and his large young family. They cherished their time in Florida and made many lifelong friends. In 2000, Mary and Nick moved to Kansas City, MO persuaded by their youngest daughter, Elizabeth (Bizy). They immediately became members of St. Thomas More Parish enjoying many of the functions and activities offered there. They donated a beautiful monument of the Ten Commandments that is still currently displayed on church property. Mary and Nick were married for 62 years.

Mary was very adventurous. She went hot-air ballooning in her 60’s, flew in an open cockpit bi-plane for her 80th birthday, took a motorcycle ride on a Harley for her 92nd birthday and kayaked later in her 90’s. Mary’s first priority was her Catholic faith and lived it always. She never said a cruel word about anyone, was honest to a fault, very quick witted and sarcastic when the timing was right living up to her 100% Irish heritage. She loved irises and the beauty of nature, especially sunsets. Her favorite childhood memories were of Lake Bonaparte in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York exploring her grandparents' camp and surrounding woods.

Mary’s family was her true passion and she was the Matriarch of a VERY large clan.

She was preceded in death by her youngest daughter, Elizabeth, 42, her husband Nicholas, 84, youngest son Patrick, 57 and great grandson Corbin, 3.

Mary is survived by her children and children’s spouses - Michael, Robert and Terrie, Nick and Cindy, Kathy and Joe Costa, and Mary and Pat Quinn; her grandchildren and grandchildren’s spouses - Carolyn and Ramilo, Joe, Grace, Sarah and Kevin, Jennifer and Jose, Josh and Misty, Nicholas and Ashley, Tara and Richard, Eric, Patrick, Mark, Dominick, Andrea and Andrew, Sam and Julie, Blair and Lacey, Carrie, Catherine and Dustin, Jessica and Eric, David and Megan, Laura and Tommy; and her great- grandchildren and spouses - Danielle, Isabelle, Enaam and Jeff, Hannah, Reagan, Kinley, Sophia, Salvador, Calista, Jaxon, Benjamin, Ellia, Owen, Charlie, Calvin, Autumn, Aiden, Riley, Peyton, Halle, Danny, Andre, Tyler, Isabella, Delaney; and her great, great granddaughter - Esmeralda and by another coming soon.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the following:

The Mary Gettino Irrevocable Scholarship Trust (This scholarship provides monetary support to two students to continue their Catholic education throughout High School.) The Mary Gettino Irrevocable Scholarship Trust, ℅ Conor Kelly, 7300 W 110th St., Ste 870, Overland Park, KS 66210

St. Labre Indian School at Ashland (This organization serves Native American Children of the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations.)

Wayside Waifs (A local Kansas City organization that supports abandoned and endangered pets.)


  • Visitation

    Friday, September 17, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Saturday, September 18, 2021


Mary Magdalene (Burns) Gettino

have a memory or condolence to add?

Anthony Psyck

September 22, 2021

Bob, Nick & Family,

Very sorry about your Mom. She was a great lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.

Tony Psyck

Beth (Ticconi ) Walker

September 19, 2021

Gettino Family,
So sorry to hear of Mary's passing. She was one of the great Mom's of Westvale. Although the block on W. High Terrace has changed, we will always remember our days growing up with all of the kids and parents that lived here.
Beth Ticconi Walker

Bob Halligan Jr

September 18, 2021

Mary Gettino was an incredible friend to my Mom and our whole family. It was impossible to not love her. Kathy was (is) one of my faves from our 9 years together at St Charles. Mary & Nick were regular visitors to my folks' house and brought us lots of joy and love. Mary Gettino can never go forgotten. Blessings and love to you all.

Becky Burns Gaul

September 16, 2021

Offering sincere sympathy to all my Gettino cousins. This 1960 photo from my 7th birthday shows how I remember Aunt Mary, her always cheerful, calm presence, surrounded by family. My husband Jim & I have fond memories of your parents visiting us in Virginia, especially when Pat brought them to see the Air Force Memorial. And I've still got the beautiful knit snowsuit she made for my daughter. I'm thankful for Aunt Mary's presence in our lives. May she rest in peace.

Theresa Law

September 16, 2021

Mary and family,

So sorry to hear of your mothers passing. I have many fond memories of her growing up down the street. Especially painting the golf mural for my father. She was a great woman. May she rest in peace.


Theresa Law

Tom Bauer

September 15, 2021

Mary and I became fast friends at St. Thomas More Parish 6 years ago as we both went to the 8:15 am Mass. We shared many laughs, and great conversations about life, family, and faith over many cups of coffee in the Narthex of the church after Mass. We always enjoyed our time together. She always had kind words for family and friends and was always happy to be around all of her friends at the Parish. A few years ago she was unable to go to daily Mass so I took The Holy Eucharist to her each Sunday in her home. It was, indeed, a highlight of my week. When I came in with Jesus she offered an instantaneous, broad, beautiful smile that literally lit up her front room. I will never forget her smile, gentle hospitality, and her personal affection for me. Mary was truly an angel in my life and I will not forget her or her family. May she rest in God's Eternal Light and Peace. I share in the deep grief of her family however I celebrate with them, her new life in Heaven.

Bob Burns

September 14, 2021

Gettino Family, I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to y'all about your mom, my Aunt Mary. The obituary does her justice....grace, tenderness, kindness.

God's Garden

God looked around his garden
And found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.

He put His arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering,
He knew that you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So He closed your weary eyelids
And whispered “Peace be thine.”

It broke our hearts to lose you
But you did not go alone…
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

Author: D. W. MCCONWAY

Prayers to all of you, Bob Burns