John Curtis Burns
Lake Charles - A funeral service for John Curtis Burns will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2021, at the First United Pentecostal Church in Leesville with Reverends Mark Christian, Ricky Pavlu, and Jon Welch officiating. Burial will follow in Pine Hill Cemetery under the direction of Jeane's Funeral Service. A visitation will be held at the church on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until the time of service.
John was born in Leesville, LA on February 26, 1934, and went to be with our Lord and Savior on September 7, 2021, in Lake Charles, LA at the age of 87. In 1952, he graduated from Leesville High School then enrolled in Northwestern State University. John graduated in May 1956 and married Shirley "Kitty" Roberts on July 5, 1956. On July 19, 1956, he joined the United States Army at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas and was honorably discharged on July 19, 1958. John then began a successful teaching career at Leesville High School where he taught Commerce. In June of 1963, he became the Finance Director for Vernon Parish School Board and was promoted to Assistant Superintendent in 1973 before becoming Superintendent of Vernon Parish Schools in July 1982. John served as Superintendent for nearly six years before retiring. After his retirement from the school system on March 1, 1988, he had the opportunity to serve two terms as the school board member for District One. During his first term, Betty Westerchil became Mayor, and during his second term, James Armes was elected as State Representative. They both asked him to serve out their terms. John served Vernon Parish faithfully as Superintendent, but his heart's true desire was to be a minister. After retirement, John went into full-time ministry and co-pastored with Reverend M.C. Green. His devotion to God and our community was evident throughout his life and his achievements were numerous. He was the long-time radio voice of the Leesville First United Pentecostal Church as well as a teacher of the young adults, former choir director, former youth pastor, former associate and assistant pastor, and an active member of the First UPC of Leesville Church Board. John served on the Louisiana District Men's Ministry Committee, presently held the position of Pastoral Elder, and authored two books. He was a respected decision maker who served on numerous boards and committees within the community and was a mentor to many in both the community and church. John was humble yet full of wisdom and strength. He leaves an impeccable legacy for his community, church, and family.
John was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Shirley "Kitty" Roberts Burns; parents, Emerson Burns and Beva Yates Burns; and brother, Richard Burns.
Those left to cherish his memory are his son, Randal "Randy" John Burns and wife Gail of Leesville, LA; daughter, Sherry Burns Styron and husband Carlton of Lake Charles, LA; grandchildren, Dene Culton, Chris McCall and wife Brandi, Joy Colletti, and husband Reece, and Beth Burns; great grandchildren, Maddox Culton, Aryis McCall, Brianna Colletti, Sophia Colletti, and Wyatt Colletti; sister, Blanche Wheat of Bastrop, LA; and a host of extended family and friends.
Our family extends a special thanks to Jimmy Gibbs and Willie Dell Weaver Boswell for the help and compassion they gave to John.
Pallbearers will be Jon Welch, Charles Welch, Carlton Styron, Johnny Gibbs, Maddox Culton, and Shawn Carter. Honorary pallbearers will be David Wheat, Jimmy Gibbs, and Rusty Burns.
Posted online on September 10, 2021