Dean A. Burns

October 12, 1934 ~ May 7, 2019 (age 84)

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Struthers, Dean A. Burns, 84,

A prayer service will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 9: 30 am at Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., followed by a funeral mass at Christ our Savior Parish, St. Nicholas Church at 10:00 am  for Dean A. Burns who passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Mike Conley Hospice House in Clermont, Florida.

He was born in Struthers on Oct. 12, 1934, the third of eight children of Herbert and Mary Burns. He married his high school sweetheart, Nancy E. Mihalko, on November 27, 1954, who preceded him in death on November 7, 2011.

Dean is survived by his devoted wife,  NancyJ. Lancaster - Burns who was by his side at the time of his death. They resided in Davenport, Florida, 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 Burns (Fiancée Michele Snyder) 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) Burns of Tucson, Arizona, and Jim (Mary) Burns of Irons, 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, and many  nieces, nephews and cousins.

In addition to his parents and first wife, Nancy, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Loren Burns, Tom Burns, and Jon Burns.

Dean graduated in 1952 from Struthers High School then entered the  U.S. Navy and served three years as an Aviation Electronics Technician stationed at Chincoteague, Virginia and was honorably discharged in July of 1960.  Dean earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Youngstown State University in 1963 and did graduate work at Slippery Rock State University. He worked for the New York Central Railroad and the City of Struthers while attending YSU.

After graduation from YSU, Dean became a teacher at Fowler-Vienna schools for seven years and then transferred to the Struthers City School District in retiring 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 Deans and he coached both boys and girls in several sports, including basketball, tennis, baseball, football, and cheerleading advisor.  Dean was active in the teacher's union for more than twenty-five years. He served as President and Chief Negotiator for Struthers and was the President of the Uniserv chapter of the Ohio Education Association and served on many committees always working to continually improve public education in Northeastern Ohio.

While teaching, he worked as an agent for several life insurance companies. After he retired from teaching he joined NSS Life and worked there for twenty-five years 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 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.

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 and served as President of the Struthers Federal Credit Union Board. 

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, DC.

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 twenty-five years.  Dean was also one of the founders of the Struthers Baseball League in 1956 and was an officer, coach, and umpire for twenty years which currently conducts baseball for over 500 boys and girls in Struthers.  

Deans community service included being a Lector and a Eucharistic minister while a member of the Christ Our Savior Parish (formerly St. Nicholas Church) and a third-degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus in Struthers.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, May 17 from 5 to 8 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 South Lake Hospital and 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 American Heart Association, 840 Southwestern Run, Youngstown, Ohio 44514, NSS PVR Scholarship, 351 Valley Brook Road, McMurray, PA 15317 and Cornerstone Hospice House, 2100 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont, FL 34711.

To send flowers to Dean's family, please visit our floral section.


May 17, 2019

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Kirila Funeral Home, Inc.
258 Poland Ave
Struthers, OH 44471

Funeral Mass
May 18, 2019

10:00 AM
Christ Our Savior Parish at St. Nicholas Church
764 Fifth Street
Struthers, Ohio 44471

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