John Burns

Obituary of John H. Burns

John H. Burns passed away on July 26, 2022 in Meridian Idaho, at the age of 96.


John was born at home in West Orange, New Jersey on July 9, 1926 the first of 3 sons to Patrick and Nancy Burns. 


At the age of 17, still a senior in high school, John enlisted in the Navy.  He served in WWII on a minesweeper the USS Medrick AMC 203 in the Pacific Theater from 1944 – 1946.


After the war John attended Seton Hall University, but left school early to follow his passion for music and performing.  He joined the singing group, 4 Jacks and a Jill, and spent the next few years touring the country.


In 1956, John married the love of his life, Mary Jane Bruno from Long Island, New York.  By 1960 they had 3 children and moved to Parsippany, New Jersey where John began working for IBM as a data analyst.  In 1975 he transferred to Manassas, Virginia where he continued his career until he retired in 1986.


In retirement John continued his passion for music and performing.  He starred in many local musical productions and worked at a local radio station as the host of a popular Big Band Radio show.  He is a published author of many short stories and several books including a children’s book.  He was a musician, talented singer-songwriter and has written an off Broadway musical.


While living in Manassas, John hosted a weekly public television show dedicated to veteran’s issues.  He was a member of the VFW and served as the American Legion Post 10 commander.  He was instrumental in forming the Freedom Museum in partnership with the Smithsonian Museum to remember and honor veterans.


In 2005, he and Mary made the decision to move to Meridian, Idaho.  John continued his commitment to veterans and served as the post commander of the Meridian Post 4000 VFW.  He is a lifetime member of American Legion post 113, a member of the Forty and Eight and the Knights of Columbus.


While exploring Meridian, John realized there were no memorials dedicated to veterans.  True to his nature and with the partnership of the VFW, the American Legion, the City of Meridian and the Eagle Scouts, he spearheaded building the “Rock of Honor”, a monument located at Kleiner Park in Meridian, dedicated to fallen soldiers from Meridian.  He also wrote a weekly column in the Valley Times, sharing his and other veteran’s stories.  John was honored for his community service with both the Meridian Mayor’s Legacy Award and the Governor’s Idaho’s Brightest Stars Award, along with many others throughout his life.


His legacy of volunteerism to community organizations, especially our veterans will be remembered for years to come.


The greatest joy of John and Mary’s life was participating in their grandchildren’s lives, whether attending plays, or sporting events they were always there cheering them on.


John lived a life of creativity, adventure and love, he will be greatly missed. 


John is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Mary Jane Burns.  He is survived by his daughters: Nancy Jane Bernhard and Marianne K. Burns; son, John F. Burns and his wife, Elaine; and his cherished grandchildren: Megan Jane and Daniel John; brothers Dr. William Burns and his wife, Eleanor and Dr. Patrick Burns and his wife, Marge.


Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 AM on Monday, August 8th at Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 6300 N. Meridian Rd. in Meridian.  Interment will be held at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery at 2:00 PM.   Services are under the care of Accent Funeral Home and Cremation.


In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made in John’s honor to VFW Post 4000.

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Funeral Service

11:00 am
Monday, August 8, 2022
Holy Apostles Catholic Church
6300 N. Meridian Rd.
Meridian, Idaho, United States

Graveside Service

2:00 pm
Monday, August 8, 2022
Idaho State Veterans Cemetery
10100 N. Horseshoe Bend Rd.
Boise, Idaho, United States
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