Anne Alden Burns, age 32, died on the 20th of June 2014, in Houston, Texas. Anne was born on the 22nd of July 1981, in Houston.
Anne attended Episcopal High School in Bellaire, Texas, and the University of Colorado in Boulder where she received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and was a member of the Pi Beta Phi social fraternity. Anne studied Spanish in Mexico at Guanajuato Summer Institute and also in Costa Rica. She had a distinctive talent for design and used it as a buyer for Theory in New York, Tootsie's in Houston and Barney's of New York. Although she had a flair for work in fashion, Anne wanted to broaden her experience and was able to pursue her long-time interest in Native American culture by working for the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Her work with the museum involved buying Native American art and crafts, which the museum marketed to support its educational mission.
Anne suffered from idiopathic intracranial hypertension or IIH, a rare, little known and poorly understood disease involving excessive cerebral-spinal fluid in the skull which causes extreme pain and nausea and can cause blindness, loss of hearing and ultimately death. The disease has no known cure and extremely limited treatment options. Anne received the diagnosis only after many years of suffering chronic and intense pain. Once diagnosed, treatment did not effectively relieve her symptoms.
Anne is survived by her grieving family: her mother Laura Walthall Burns and stepfather Hal Rosen of Corrales, New Mexico, her father David A. Burns and her sister Ellen E. Burns of Houston, her aunt Sarah E. Burns of New York City and her aunts, uncles and cousins.
A memorial service is to be conducted at three o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 26th of June in the Benitez Chapel of Episcopal High School, 4650 Bissonnet Street in Bellaire, where The Rev. Elizabeth Holden, chaplain of Episcopal High School is to officiate.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the transept of Benitez Chapel.
The family has created the Anne Alden Burns IIH Foundation, Suite 322, 952 Echo Lane, Houston, TX 77024, to further research for treatment and cure of IIH. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Anne may also be made to Episcopal High School-Houston, P.O. Box 271299, Houston, Texas 77277.
Published in Houston Chronicle on June 25, 2014