Cover photo for Francis "Sonny" A. Burnier's Obituary
Francis "Sonny" A. Burnier Profile Photo
1935 Francis "Sonny" 2021

Francis "Sonny" A. Burnier

May 23, 1935 — December 26, 2021

Francis (Sonny) August Burnier, of Frankfort, IL, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, December 26, 2021, at the age of 86. After several months of declining health, Francis died peacefully with his beloved wife Mary by his side.

Francis was born on May 23, 1935 in Chicago. He was the son of Eugene and Henrietta Burnier. Francis was a graduate of Steinmetz High School in 1953. He continued his education at the University of Illinois where he played football until injury ended his career. Francis then went on to serve our Country in the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany and was a member of the U.S. Army Band where he played the trombone.

In 1959 Francis married Mary Caroline Green of Wellsboro, PA. Together they had six children. Francis owned his own Refuse Business for 20 years. He then went to work for the U.S. Postal Service until retirement.

His Christian faith was an important part of his life. Francis served as an AWANA Leader for many years and was a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of boys. He was an active member of the church where he sang in the choir and was always the most competitive player on the church softball team.

Francis had many interests, including bird watching, puzzles, writing, and space exploration. He was a political advocate and wrote a book titled 404 and the Marsh Creek Farmer promoting the balance of wetlands preservation and property rights. He later testified before the Pennsylvania State Legislature to champion the rights of small farmers and property owners.
Many remember Francis as an avid sports enthusiast, including softball, waterskiing, wresting and, most beloved of all, football. He was an All-State Linebacker in high school, coached youth football, and enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons playing in high school and college. Francis always said that he only played for fun, but that winning was always more fun than losing.

Francis is preceded in death by his sisters, Edith and Elsie, and his son, Philip Burnier and Phil s wife Donna. He is survived by his sisters, Barbara, Pat, and Donna; his wife, Mary Burnier, and five children; Timothy A. Burnier (Lorraine) of Sleepy Hollow; David Burnier of Elmhurst; Beth Tomczak (Steve) of Mokena; Robert Burnier (Kayla) of Chicago, Jennifer Burnier (Ken) of Azusa, CA.; ten grandchildren, Nicole Foukal, Timothy R. Burnier (Rachel), Kate Burnier, Elizabeth Burnier, James Burnier, Melinda McCarthy (Jim), Philip Burnier (Kristin), Jake Tomczak, Max Tomczak, and Faith Burnier-Ross; and four great grandchildren, Irene, Rayna, Holden and Anezka.

The family will be Celebrating the Life of Francis on Friday, January 7th, at the Chapel of Parkview Christian Church,11100 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, IL. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. and a Memorial Service from 11:00 to 12:00 noon. The family invites you to join them for lunch immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable contributions in memory of Francis Burnier be made to Brain Support Network,, PO Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Francis "Sonny" A. Burnier, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Friday, January 7, 2022

9:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, January 7, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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