Jean J. Burns of Lake Monticello died peacefully, enveloped in love, on November 2, 2013 at 83 years old. She was born on January 19, 1930 in Richmond, Virginia. Her parents were Howard Houston Johnson of Richmond and Jessie Broadway Johnson of Durham, North Carolina.

Jean’s battle with breast cancer began when she was 49 years old while living in Wilton, Connecticut where she where she lived for 15 years and served on the school board and was active in the community. Her indomitable spirit defied the odds for many, many years allowing her to enjoy a wonderful and productive life at Lake Monticello with her husband, Carlos. They were happy partners in life and celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on October 27, 2013.

The multiple corporate moves around the United States brought Jean many close friendships with a variety of remarkable individuals. She treasured these friendships and memories. She loved genealogy and her return to Virginia provided family records and histories which she never tired of sharing with her children and grandchildren. Jean’s masterwork on the family’s genealogy will be published in the future.

Jean’s ready smile and laughter were a blessing to those who knew her and belied even the hardest times. She was a lover of her family, friends, books, learning and community service. Jean had a sustaining and empowering awareness of God’s active and leading grace in her life and in the world. She believed her life to be wholly governed and directed by God and lived with the peace that passes all understanding. Jean faced her death, like her life, with dignity and trust in her Lord and his commitment to her.

1 Corinthians – 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

She is survived by her beloved husband, Carlos P. Burns. She was a tender, loving and devoted mother to her three children Carlos A. Burns and his wife Kathy of Palmyra, VA; Joan Sargent and her husband Tom of Westport, CT; and Tim Burns of Norwalk, CT. She was blessed with seven treasured grandchildren: Jesse Burns and his wife Nicole, Megan Burns Climo and her husband Danny, TC Sargent, Jeanie Sargent, Thomas H. Burns, Jr., Tyler Burns and Trevor Burns, and two great-grand children, Gigi Burns and Auden Climo. Jean is also survived by her lifelong companion and twin sister Joan Johnson of Palmyra, VA, whose love and presence enriched her life to the very end. Jean will live on in the hearts of her family; witnesses and testaments to this dynamic servant of God’s who so generously shared the bounty of her love of life.

For all those who knew the truly self-sacrificing nature of Jean, worked with her, benefited from her commitment to others, or, just loved her, the world is a little darker place without the bright and enduring light of her life. While she will be greatly missed, there is comfort in the knowledge that a selfless life, well lived, in the service of God, her family and society will be richly rewarded in heaven.

She asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either the Hospice of the Piedmont, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 300, Charlottesville, VA, 22911 or the Lake Monticello Rescue Squad, 14 Slice Road, Palmyra, VA, 22963.

Jean and her daughter, in particular, wish to thank the Hospice of the Piedmont’s people and services who made it possible for Jean to remain at home surrounded by her loving family. The Hospice of the Piedmont provided for every need, displayed tremendous compassion and kindness along with the absolute assurance that all physical and emotional needs were met, making Jean’s last days as comfortable and peaceful as humanly possible for her and her family.

The Lake Monticello Rescue Squad’s outstanding team has provided a reliable and comforting service to the family on numerous occasions.

The family will celebrate Jean’s life during a private family memorial service.

She asked that the words from the following blessing be included here.

Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

May the rains fall soft upon your fields

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His Hand.