Laurens County Museum would like to express our most sincere condolences to the Burns family. A great contributor to our community, our board member and friend, Russ Burns will be greatly missed.
Raymond Russell (Russ) Burns, Jr., son of the late R.R. Burns, Sr. and the late Thelma Stroman Burns passed away on Monday, September 19, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 55 years Judith Ann Ayer Burns and two daughters, Carol Ann Burns and Roxana Melanie Burns, and a son-in-law, Jon Roper.
Russ was a graduate of the University of South Carolina where he earned both a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Journalism. Having earned a commission in the U.S. Air Force while in college, Russ served as Commander of an intelligence flight during the Vietnam War and later was Assistant Operations Officer. Returning to Laurens, he joined the staff of Laurens County School District 55 where he served as a classroom teacher, federal funds coordinator, and eventually Director of Technology. Russ was a longtime Rotarian serving the Laurens Club for almost 50 years in a variety of positions including Club Secretary, Club President, and Secretary of Rotary District 7750.
Because of his lifetime love of the natural world, Russ helped found the Upper Savannah Land Trust and served on its board for more than a dozen years. He was also a member of South Carolina Nature Conservancy and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.
His love of nature also led Russ to produce many personal essays about the natural world, which were widely published. Russ’ penchant for writing eventually led to the development of Discovering Laurens County, a history of the county, which he and a dozen others with a deep interest in Laurens County are writing and editing as a five-volume set.
Russ also had a deep interest in archaeology. He served for many years on the Board of the S.C. Archaeology Research Trust and two terms as Chair of the Trust. Russ also joined the board of the Laurens County Museum Association and was instrumental in developing the new museum on the Square in Laurens.
The family will have a visitation on Friday, September 23, 2016, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at The Kennedy Mortuary. A private family service and burial will be held on the family farm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to one of the organizations that Russ was so passionate about (mentioned above) or to Hospice of Laurens County, P.O. Box 178, Clinton, SC 29325.
Condolences can be expressed to the family atwww.thekennedymortuary.com.