STRUTHERS, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – A prayer service will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m. at Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., followed by a Funeral Mass at Christ Our Savior Parish, St. Nicholas Church at 10:00 a.m., for Dean Burns, who passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Mike Conley Hospice House in Clermont, Florida.
He was born in Struthers on October 12, 1934, the third of eight children of Herbert and Mary Burns.
On November 27, 1954, he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Mihalko, who preceded him in death on November 7, 2011.
Dean is survived by his second wife, Nancy Lancaster of Davenport, Florida, where they resided after their marriage on October 20, 2014. He is also survived by his six sons, Christopher (Nancy) of Howell, Michigan, Daniel (Mary Louise) of Painesville, David (Michele) of Northfield, Richard (Susan) of Poland, Andrew (Mary Terese) of Greer, South Carolina and Alan (Justina) of Las Vegas, Nevada; by his 15 grandchildren, Danielle (Mike) Dixon, Rachel (Brad) Wilson, Nicole Correa, Stephanie Burns, Jennifer (Chuck Terry) Burns, Kelly (Kyle Ollis) Burns, Eric Burns, Teresa Burns, Michelle Burns, Jonathon Burns, Sarah Burns, Andrew Burns, Jr., Kayleigh Burns, Maxwell Burns and Vivienne Burns and by his four great-grandchildren, Trevor and Nolan Dixon and Helen and Walter Wilson.
Dean is also survived by his two brothers, Bob (Caroline) of Tucson, Arizona and Jim (Mary) of Grand Rapids, Michigan; his two sisters, Mary Jo Holker of Englewood, Florida and Sue Burns of Hubbard, Ohio; his two sisters-in-law, Ruth (Ferry) Burns of Poland Ohio and Martha (Groves) Burns of Marshall, Michigan, as well as several nieces, nephews and extended family.
In addition to his parents and first wife, Nancy, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Loren Burns, Tom Burns and Jon Burns.
After graduating in 1952 from Struthers High School, Dean entered the U.S. Navy and served three years as an Aviation Electronics Technician.
On completion of his military service, Dean earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Youngstown State University and did graduate work at Slippery Rock State University.
Dean taught high school English for 30 years and retired from the Struthers City School District in 1992. He placed a high value on providing service to others and was active in many areas. Education and coaching were a passion of Dean’s and he coached both boys and girls in several sports, including basketball, tennis, baseball, football and cheerleading.
Dean was a delegate at the National Education Association (NEA) and served in leadership roles at the Struthers Education Association and the Northeast Ohio Education Association, always working to continually improve public education in northeastern Ohio.
While teaching, he worked as an agent for several life insurance companies before joining NSS Life, first as an agent and board member, before becoming Vice President of the company. While working for the NSS, Dean served as National Fraternal Director for several years and earned the Fraternal Insurance Counselor designation. He has served as President and as a board member of both the Ohio FIC and the Ohio Fraternal Congress. In 2008, he was voted by the Ohio Fraternal Congress as Fraternalist of the Year. He was also the past president of the National Fraternal Congress of America Fraternal section.
After retiring from teaching, Dean became involved in many community service endeavors, including serving as chairman of the City of Struthers Civil Service Commission, with responsibility for conducting examination for every civil service position in the City and the School district. For many years, he was chairman of the Mahoning Valley Fair Housing Association, which was responsible for investigating complaints of housing discrimination and mediating disputes. He was also elected to the Struthers School Board of Education.
In later years, he volunteered his time with three Habitat for Humanity blitz builds with the NFCA and he worked several times in assisting Jubilee Ministries in Washington, D.C.
In honor of his brother, Jon, Dean helped start the annual Jon Burns Memorial Golf Tournament and raised funds for the American Heart Association for over 25 years. Dean was also one of the founders of the Struthers Baseball League, which conducts baseball for over 500 boys and girls in Struthers.
Dean was a member of the Christ Our Savior Parish (formerly St. Nicholas Church) and the Knights of Columbus in Struthers.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, May 17 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., 258 Poland Avenue in Struthers. Burial will be in St. John Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at the Mike Conley Hospice House, part of Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care in Clermont, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the NSS PVR Scholarship, 351 Valley Brook Road, McMurray, PA 15317 or to Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, 2100 Oakley Boulevard, Clermont, FL 34711.
A television tribute will air Monday, May 13 at the following approximate times: 6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.