Rosemary “Mary” Burns, age 94, of Bryan, Ohio, died at 5:45 A.M. on Monday, December 1, 2014, in her home after an extended illness. Miss Burns was a 1938 graduate of Bryan High School. A true entrepreneur, Mary’s business ventures began in 1949 while she was employed by a glove manufacturing plant in Richmond, Indiana, and was unable to obtain lettered uniforms for her bowling team. She applied her sewing skills to lettering the uniforms, thus beginning a new business, Burns Embroidery, which lettered uniforms and designed labels, emblems and plaques for schools, clubs, civic organizations and corporations. In the 1950s she learned the art of silk screening and began lettering shirts and uniforms. She not only designed and made the silk screens, she also made the wooden frames that held the screens. Desiring to enter the awards business, Mary began engraving brass plates for placement on awards and trophies, thus Burns Awards was born. In 1989, at the age of 68, she and longtime friend, Mildred Taylor, traveled to Florida to learn the art of glass etching and again expanded her business to include Sandkist Etched Glass. Retiring in 2012 after sixty-three years in business, she left her legacy throughout the area and may be remembered for designing and handcrafting the Bryan city flag with Lou Ames. She was an avid golfer and bowler, who bowled for the Toledo Blade Queens League on a team sponsored by Pilliards of Swanton, Ohio. She was also an active member of the Bryan Alliance Church and served on the Bryan Board of Public Affairs from 1997-2013.
Rosemary “Mary” Burns was born on September 26, 1920, in Bryan, the daughter of William and Ruby Rose (Cotter) Burns. She is survived by three nephews, Allen (Caroline) Burns, of Millersburg, Ohio, David (Nancy) Burns, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and John Burns, of Bryan; one niece, Patricia Pembroke, in Fort Worth, Texas; numerous great-nieces and nephews and their families; and many dear friends, including the Isaac family. She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant sister, Cleo, and a brother, Robert Ford Burns.
The family would like to express its sincere appreciation to Mary’s care givers, Mary Huerta, Diana Rocha and Norma Alaniz, who have demonstrated immeasurable care and compassion over the last several months, and also to Dr. Kevin Park and the entire staff at Bryan Hospital for their excellent care.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 4, 2014, from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 P.M. in the Krill Funeral Home, 860 West Mulberry Street, Bryan. Services will be held on Friday, December 5, 2014, at 11:00 A.M. in the Bryan Alliance Church with Reverend Jon Chase officiating. Interment will follow in Shiffler Cemetery, near Bryan.
Memorials are requested to Bryan Alliance Church or to Community Health Professionals Hospice and Visiting Nurses.