Blake L. Burns

SCOTTSBURG - Burns, Blake L., 95, died on November 26, 2013 at his home.

He was born in Salem, IN on June 2, 1918 to Rev. Harvey S. Burns and Clara Batt Burns. He graduated from Gosport High School, Gosport, IN and Campbellsville College, Campbellsville, KY, playing on varsity basketball teams. Blake was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving in the China Berma Indian Theatre. In 1946, he married Iva Sue Herrington of Laurel, MS and moved to Scottsburg in 1949 to open Burns 5 & 10 variety store, where he also served the business community as president of the Scottsburg Chamber of Commerce.

In January of 1955, Captain Blake Burns continued his military service by being appointed the first commander of the Indiana National Guard in Scottsburg. Later, he served as tank battalion commander over Southern Indiana eventually achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Burns was elected the first mayor of Scottsburg in 1964 helping to lead in the transition from town to city. During his three terms as mayor, he was president of Southern Indiana Mayor's Roundtable, vice-president of the River Hills Regional Planning and was on the executive board of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. While serving as mayor, Blake was also instrumental in the planning and development of Scottsburg Senior Housing, also known as Craig Park and Lake Iola. As a member of the First Baptist Church of Scottsburg, he served as chairman of the deacons and held many offices. Other organizational memberships included the American Legion Post # 234, Scottsburgh Lodge # 572 F & AM, Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis, Scott County Preservation Alliance, Scott County Cemetery Committee, Scottsburg Economic Development Committee, Board of Directors of the South Central Indiana Council for the Aging and the Scott County Historical Society where he was project director of Heritage Downtown Scottsburg. He was the recipient of many awards including Area 14's 1993 Older Hoosier of the Year and the Governor's Sagamore of the Wabash.

Preceding him in death are his sister, Virginia Burns Ball and two sons-in-law, Dave Reeves and Terry Fewell.

Survivors include his wife, Sue Burns; two daughters, Marsha Reeves-Fewell of Scottsburg and Christina (Christy) Beardsley of Zionsville, IN; four grandchildren, Scott Reeves, Kristin Reeves Pond (Charlie), Brian Burns Beardsley and Jacqueline Robison (Ben); several nieces and nephews; stepgrandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren.

Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. Monday at Scottsburg First Baptist Church with burial immediately following at the Scottsburg Cemetery. Visitation will be 2-8 p.m. Sunday at Collins Funeral Home in Scottsburg and after 10 a.m. Monday at the First Baptist Church.

Memorials: Scottsburg First Baptist Church c/o Collins Funeral Home. Online condolences:www.collinsfuneralhome.net.

Published in The Courier-Journal on Nov. 30, 2013