Cynthia D. Burns

Cynthia D. Burns

April 24, 1931 – October 22, 2019

Born April 24, 1931 in Conway, South Carolina.  At a very young, Cynthia’s parents died of Pneumonia within months of each other.  Following their sudden death, Cynthia was lovingly raised by her sister, Ruby (21 years her elder), and Ruby’s newlywed husband, John B Monroe. The family eventually moved to Washington D.C., and grew to five with the birth of James and Judy.

Cynthia grew up and attended schools in the NW section of the District of Colombia just a few miles east of beautiful Nebraska Avenue.  She met future husband, John Burns, during a social event at the family home.  The couple dated for several years while attending college, marrying in 1954.  Cynthia graduated from Wilsons Teachers College in 1953; John graduated from Georgetown in 1955.

Directly recruited out of college by Mohasco Industries (Mohawk), John’s career first took the family to the greater New York City area where John Sylvester III (1956) and Thomas Michael (1957) were born.   A few years later, duty called further West, and the clan moved to Chicagoland where Robert Francis (1960) and Susan Regina (1963) joined the clan.  During the busy, formative days of the early 1960’s, life-long memories and friendships were made that continue to this day.

Opportunity called again in 1966, and the Cynthia gathered everyone up to move to the western outpost of Omaha just a month before #4 son, David Alan completed the Burns bunch.  With the encouragement of a neighborhood friend, Cynthia restarted her teaching career.  After experiencing several different assignments, Cynthia built a long career at Wegner Middle School at Boys Town, NE.

New lifelong friendships were made in the Brookside/Rockbrook neighborhood and at Boys Town, but annual trips to the East Coast and joint trips with Chicagolanders kept ties strong to many relatives and friends.

During the Seventies, Cynthia defined multi-tasking while raising five of her own, playing host to dozens of friends the kids brought through “Brookside County Club”, and being virtual mother to hundreds of Boys Town children!!

As John’s health declined, she encouraged him through rehabilitations while maintaining the household.  She worked tirelessly to enable the children to grow their own directions – to California, Kansas City, and Japan!  Through it all, her Catholic faith grew and she remained the “Hostess with the Mostest”.

Following the death of John in 1991, Cynthia continued her heaven’s work on earth as a teacher at Boys Town retiring in 1996.

But this was just the beginning of a new chapter – this new found liberty  enabled her to visit family and friends on both coasts, in Florida, and spots in between.  Younger sister Judy and her wonderful husband Larry often insisted that Cynthia join them on travels to places far and wide — from the Panama Canal to Blarney Castle, the Eifel Tower, the Roman Coliseum and so much more.  She enjoyed it all tremendously, especially the times on Sanibel Island.   Most of all, she enjoyed the loving friendships and watching her kids, grandkids, great grandkids, nieces and nephews grow and be happy.  When she was sure all was o.k., she slipped quietly into that good night surrounded by family.  Thank You, Mom.  We’ll see you again when the time is right.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: Sunday, November 17th, 11am, at the West Center Chapel.





  • Dave and Becky Snedeker Posted October 23, 2019 4:44 pm

    Ours thoughts and prayers are with you all. Cynthia was so loved by many. Has been an honor to know her.

  • Lori Raumaker Posted October 25, 2019 1:33 pm

    Im truly sorry John, Val, and family to hear of your loss. Please accept my sincere condolences..

  • Ruthie Muchemore Posted October 28, 2019 10:30 am

    Cynthia was a “Brookside broad” one of 5 of us. Memories wash over me as I recall the quality life on Brookside Ave. She was a mother to her her own children as well as every child on the block. She was a friend of great generosity. She has a sense of humor that made life better. I am grateful she was my friend. Peace to her and the family.

  • Pam Vogler Benson Posted October 30, 2019 12:09 pm

    My sincere condolences to the Cynthia Burns family . I had the honor of so many years to have known such a beautiful lady inside & out ! She is safe in Gods arms now .

  • Sandie Fischer Yeaman Posted November 17, 2019 6:26 pm

    I was Blessed to have know Cynthia during my years at BoysTown. She truly loved her job and mothered every student as well as the rest of us!!! It was an honor and a everyday pleasure to work with her . She impacted more lives and made a difference in everyone she met. An her sense of humor…….Wicked!

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