Elizabeth Burns, age 59, of Boonville, MO passed away Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, at Our Lady of Peace Hospice Center in St. Paul, MN after a 1 ½ year battle with cancer.
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Per her wishes, there was no funeral service and her body was cremated.
Elizabeth McMahon Burns was born Nov. 9, 1953, in Chattanooga, TN the daughter of the late Everett Keith McMahon and Martha Louella McMahon. Her family lived in Old Hickory and Nashville, TN, before moving to Smyrna, GA in 1960. She graduated from Campbell High School in Smyrna in 1971 and earned her undergraduate degree in English from the University of Georgia in Athens ion 1975.
In 1977 Elizabeth married Patrick Burns in Atlanta, GA. Although no longer married at the time of her death, Elizabeth and Patrick had remained good friends throughout the years and Patrick was very supportive of her by arranging for her medical and personal care in the final days of her illness.
Elizabeth was amazingly intelligent and enjoyed the time she spent in academic life. She eventually earned her Master's degree in psychology in 992 from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, CO. She studied in the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE from 1993 to 1999, eventually earning her PhD in clinical psychology from that institution in 2002. She also completed a one-year internship at the University of Maine Counseling Center in 2000 and obtained her clinical psychologist license in Missouri in 2008.
Elizabeth began her career with the Valley Hope Association alcohol and drug treatment programs in 2000 as the assistant program director of Parker Valley Hope in Parker, CO. in 2002 she transferred to Boonville Valley Hope in Boonville, MO as the inpatient program director and served in that position until her death. Under her leadership, the Boonville program touched the lives of more than 6,800 addicted persons and their families.
Elizabeth was a very independent person who was respected for her integrity. She had a dry sense of humor, loved old movies and was an insatiable reader from early childhood on. She loved dogs-her border collies Fin and Abby were her constant companions. At one time she worked as a dog trainer and produced a dog training video. She was a strong supporter of dog rescue programs.
In addition to Patrick Burns of Minneapolis, MN, Elizabeth is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Glenda McMahon, of Telford, TN, who spent several months caring for her in the early days of her illness.
Memorials may be sent to Mo-Kan Border Collie Rescue, 5525 NE Scenic Drive , Lee's Summit, MO 64064
Published in Boonville Daily News from Apr. 12 to Apr. 19, 2013