Paul Y. Burns
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Baton Rouge: Paul Y. Burns, July 4, 1920, to January 5, 2015, who was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and moved to Baton Rouge in 1955, lived a full and generous life. He and his wife Kathleen daily lived their belief to "love God and love your neighbor as yourself." Both dedicated their lives to justice and peace, and to making the world a better place for all. Long time member, leader and elder of University Presbyterian Church, Paul worked through the Baton Rouge faith community to improve race relations and gender equality. His life was enriched with the personal friendships and relationships built through working across faiths and races for civil rights justice in the community of South Baton Rouge. Only recently did he discontinue his service with the Louisiana and Baton Rouge Councils on Human Relations. He received many recognitions and humanitarian awards for his community work and other contributions. Dr. Burns was respected as Director of the LSU School of Forestry, now the School of Renewable Natural Resources. Serving LSU for 31 years, he taught one undergraduate class every year he was director. In retirement, he continued spending time weekly at his LSU office until age 90+, reviewing student and faculty papers, organizing alumni information, and providing departmental history. Paul was an avid tennis player, playing in high school and college, for serious recreation and in the Senior Olympics, past age 90. He had a keen sense of humor and enjoyed being known for his corny jokes. He was also a talented piano player and musician, learning to play as a child and playing the pump organ in the field for his Army Air Corps 21st Weather Squadron and the 370th Fighter-Bomber Group. He entertained his wife, children, grandchildren and most recently his fellow assisted living neighbors with his ability to play the piano by ear, encouraging everyone to sing along. He was proud of his World War II service as a meteorologist in the Army Air Corps, his Yale Forestry degree and work at LSU, his work for racial justice and peace, his tennis awards, and his family. For 12 years, as she struggled with dementia, Paul patiently and lovingly cared for his wife Kathleen. In recent years he enjoyed sharing his life experience through conversations and through writing memoirs. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul P. and Mary K. Burns and wife, Kathleen Chase Burns. He is survived by his three brothers, Robert C., Gene C., and Donald K. Burns; his three daughters, Virginia Belland (Mark), Margaret Feierabend (Robin), and Nancy McNeill (Paul D.); six grandchildren and two (twin) great grand babies; his "4th daughter", Mary Mikell and her husband, Gaines Foster, and friends and dedicated caregivers, Debra Dupre' and Ariana Walls. University Presbyterian Church community friends who loved and supported him throughout his life remain special to the family. Appreciation from the family goes to the caregivers at the Hospice of Baton Rouge. A celebration of life will be held Saturday January 10, 2015, University Presbyterian Church, 3240 Dalrymple Dr., at 11 a.m. Reception following. In lieu of flowers (he was a forester, not a gardener) memorial gifts may be made to University Presbyterian Church (address above), Baton Rouge, LA 70802 or to LSU Foundation, Paul Y. Burns Scholarship, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. Paul would be pleased for new members in the Louisiana Council on Human Relations Condolences to the family may be sent to:">">">

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Published in The Advocate from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11, 2015.
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14 entries
January 23, 2015
He was a fine gentleman and dedicated educator who made a positive influence on the lives and careers of
L.S.U. Forestry Students for more than fifty years. Best wishes to his family during this time of sorrow.
Billy Bond
January 23, 2015
We send our deepest condolences to all of Paul's family. He spoke fondly of his daughters and their families, and often asked about our sons and daughter. I met Dr. Burns in 1955, when I began my forestry studies after spending four years in the Air Force. He was an honorable man, a great forester, and a valued friend. After my time at LSU and then Duke Univ., it was my good fortune to work for him as a Research Forester for a few years. He and I had kept in contact all through these past years even after I retired. He was a good friend, and a person to be admired.
Benton & Sallie Box
Benton & Sallie Box
January 14, 2015
Never had the pleasure of meeting Paul, but have heard stories of his continued contributions to his community well into his late 80s and 90s. The Bristol community does benefit from the hard work of his daughter, Margaret Feierabend, so we are grateful for his life example that resulted in such a special daughter. The entire family is in our thoughts and prayers with appreciation for the life of Paul Y. Burns.
Susan and Doug Murray
January 13, 2015
Dr. Burns certainly led a full life and impacted so many other lives! My condolences to Margaret and Robin, and all of his family. I know you're missing him, but also rejoicing in the legacy he left behind and in knowing he's in a glorious place of rest.
Connie Clyburn
January 12, 2015
Never met Mr. Burns but know Margaret has gleamed the best of what he had to offer and applied it in her own life. Wishing Margaret and Robin peace and grace at this difficult time. You are in my prayers. Love to all the family and those I had the honor to meet in August. He would be proud.
Kathy Kunisch
January 11, 2015
Dr. Paul's dedication to the pursuit of greater equality for all citizens of our community will continue to exemplify the very best in love of humanity and love of God. I will always especially remember and cherish his loving support of One Baton Rouge and our efforts to demonstrate that ours is truly a city of true caring and respect for one another. May all of Paul's loving family be strengthened from beautiful memories of his life so very well lived.
Barry Weinstein
January 10, 2015
I hadn't intended my message of January 10 to be posted anonymously. I hoped to share with Paul's family just what he meant to me while we lived in Baton Rouge and were friends through UPC. I'm going to miss him! I referred to Paul as my hero, and I think he approved. RIP till we meet again, dear Paul.
Martha (Marty) Martin
January 10, 2015
I dearly loved this wonderful man, expemplary Christian, and tireless activist for peace and justice. I considered him a dear friend. I always referred to him as my hero, which is very true, and every time I told him, he smiled approvingly! It was such an honor to serve on the committee at UPC that I believe he and his beloved wife had started, Missions and Peacemaking. And when I told him about the efforts to start up a small Code Pink chapter in Baton Rouge, he was eager to learn more about it and then not only joined us women, but generously supported it! I had so hoped to see him again on my next visit back to Baton Rouge, as we have now retired to FL. This world has lost a great human being in Paul.
January 8, 2015
What a wonderful life! Sending thoughts and love to family and friends.
Christina Blevins
January 8, 2015
Paul and Kathleen were truly gifts to Baton Rouge and to all who knew them. God bless his family. I will always be thankful for the examples they set, and for the life lessons they taught.
John Earle
January 8, 2015
What a wonderful life of love and contribution. His legacy will live on thru his family who continue to champion his many causes, and the lives he knowingly and unknowingly touched.
Powers Lea
January 7, 2015
Paul was on my committee when I was a graduate student at LSU. Many years later when I became director of the school, Paul was my mentor and friend. I will be forever grateful for having known Paul Burns, and outstanding professional and a great humanitarian.
Bob Blackmon
January 7, 2015
I offer my sincere condolences to the entire family.
R W Richardson
January 7, 2015
What an awesome man I had the pleasure of caring for. I am truly grateful for all the wonderful memories shared with Dr. Burns and his amazing family and shall carry them with me always. God Bless you all.
Debra Dupre'
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