Grace Burns Speech

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We are here to celebrate the life of Grace Burns. Mrs. Burns was born in Oakdale, TN near Harriman and when young her family moved to Pennington Gap in Lee County, VA where she was reared. After marrying Mr. Carl Burn they moved to Lebanon in the 1950s and then to Banner Street and then to Duff Street in the late 1970s where she has lived since then. Mr. and Mrs. Burns and their boys became part of the fabric and web of connection here in Lebanon.

I have known Mrs. Burns most of my life, and I cannot remember not knowing her. All of us kids of Banner and Jessee Streets and points in-between loved Mrs. Burns. She just didn’t make the childhood of her boys wonderful, she extended that to the neighbors! She was the neighborhood mother whose house and grounds became the focal point of activity, campouts, and summer swims. She looked after us and saw that we had fun and enough food. Occasionally, she would have to referee between our disagreements, but it was always in a nice way. I’ve always felt at home in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Burns on Banner Street and later on Duff Street. I’m sure many of us here can say that. She was hospitable, kind, and of a gentle spirit.

There are times that
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Burns loved her sons! She reared distinct different sons, each unique in his own way. This is a testament to her rearing of them as well as Mr. Burns. I do recall though some advise that Mrs. Burns gave Timmy when we were about 11 or 12. A boy had been giving Timmy a hard time, and Mrs. Burns counseled him to not let that boys do that. One summer evening after exchanging words with Tim, the boys went their separate ways, mouthing to each other and it was more the other boy than Tim. The boy was in Richard Wilson’s back yard and the old dry cleaners stood between Tim and him. Tim picked up a rock and hurled it over the building and the boy screamed. The rock hit me square in the arm. I deserved it and Mrs. Burns was right. She loved her
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