Velma R. Burns

August 14, 1924 ~ July 28, 2019 (age 94)


Velma Burns (Vel) passed away July 28, 2019, in Knoxville, TN, at age 94.


Born in 1924, after childhood in rural South Carolina and matriculation from Liberty (SC) High School, Vel graduated as a (registered) nurse from Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. In 1956, as an Air Force nurse in South Dakota, she met the one true love of her life, USAF pilot, Capt. John Robert Burns at an Officer’s Club social. Married soon after, 3 children followed.  Happily-ever-after ended when John was killed, in 1966, flying a rescue mission during the Vietnam conflict. She raised their three children, returning to work as an RN until age 69…but never remarried.


Vel is preceded in death by husband, John Burns, and son, Kevin Burns. Survivors include daughters, Phyllis Major (Samuel), Natalie Broyles (David), daughter-in-law, Jervetta Burns, & grandchildren, Blaine Moates, Forrest Broyles, Anthony Burns, Kenny Burns (Katie), Kelsey Broyles Burns, John Broyles.


Saddened by her passing, there is yet immense joy, contemplating Vel, after 57 years, now with husband, John… reunited—forever.


A Celebration of Life service is Saturday, August 3, 2019, at 2:00 pm, receiving of friends following Fellowship Hall. Bearden United Methodist Church, 4407 Sutherland Ave. Knoxville TN.


A graveside service for the family will be Sunday, August 4, 2019, at 1:00 pm at Memorial Cemetery in Paris, TN.  


Vel wished memorial gifts to be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.


- Obituary submitted by the family of Velma R. Burns

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Graveside Service
August 4, 2019

1:00 PM
Memorial Cemetery
Memorial Drive
Paris, TN 38242

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