In memory of
Joe Dae Burns
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In memory of
Joe Dae Burns
Joe Dae Burns Jonesboro - Joe Dae Burns obituary "Trees can reduce the heat of a summer's day, quiet a highway's noise, feed the hungry, provide shelter from the wind and warmth in the winter. You see, the forests are the sanctuaries not only of wildlife, but also of the human spirit. And every tree is a compact between generations." - George Bush, U.S. President, 1989 A mighty tree has fallen in the forest. But because of his commitment to the forest, and everything the forest stands for, the people he loved and the causes he valued will continue to thrive. It is the way of the forest. Joe Dae Burns was born on November 29, 1923 in Shongaloo, LA. He died in his home surrounded by loving daughters on May 18, 2018. His 94 years seemed barely sufficient for all the living this man did. From a depression era family of 12 in northern Webster Parish, Joe made his way to LSU in the early 1940s. There he earned a BS degree in Forestry and would later earn his Masters in Forestry at LSU. His college days were interrupted by World War II. Joe proudly served as an infantry soldier with the U.S. Army, serving in three campaigns in the European Theater of Operations. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. While at LSU, he met Helen Joyce Andrews and wisely decided he couldn't live without her. He found the love of his life and convinced the lovely girl from Lottie to marry him. Their marriage lasted 71 years and produced four daughters, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Joe's devotion to Helen during the final years of her life was an example to his family and many others of what lifelong love looks like. Helen was fond of calling him "Joe Burns," as if it was one word. His daughters called him Dad and Father. To his grandchildren he was Papa Joe. And to his employees, colleagues, fellow foresters and most around the community and state, he was Mr. Joe. His daughters recall a hard-working father, but one who somehow found time to attend nearly every LSU home game ever played. As the years rolled on, Joe managed to acquire more and more land and LSU season tickets. Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium became a central theme in the Burns family, a habit that has been passed on to the next generation. Joe often told his daughters, "You can go to college anywhere you want to. But if you go to LSU, I'll pay for it." Joe took his young family water skiing with friends on Lake Claiborne in the summers. The red swim suit never got too old to wear and he could always get a laugh when he would "march" on the water as he skied. He loved being outdoors, both to work and to play. His grandchildren remember picking blueberries and swimming in the pool with him during the summer, watching he and Gumbo play tennis in the back yard during the spring and of course hunting with Papa Joe in the fall all over Jackson and Bienville Parish. Christmas always included a family tromp deep into the forest to cut down a tall tree to decorate. Joe founded Burns Forest Products in the early 1960s and moved from Winnfield to Jonesboro. He loved this community and threw himself into civic involvements such as the Lions Club and the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce. He and Helen joined the Jonesboro United Methodist Church and passed on a heritage of faith to their daughters. In addition to the economic contributions of Burns Forest Products over the past half century and the jobs he created, there are innumerable stories (some known, most never mentioned) of Joe's acts of contribution and kindness to his employees, friends or simply individuals in need in the community to whom Joe provided assistance. In most cases, he never told a soul. He was a true conservationist. He would often say, "They aren't making any more land." Joe Burns was a forester. His roots in Louisiana forestry ran deep and will be felt for generations to come. He served as a president of the Louisiana Forestry Association, as well as the Louisiana Forestry Foundation for nearly 20 years, providing scholarships for students studying to be foresters. He was always replanting the forest for the next generation. He served on the Louisiana Forestry Commission and was awarded the LSU School of Forestry's Outstanding Alumnus Award. He served on the original board of the Louisiana Workers Compensation Corporation and served as Director Emeritus until his death. One did not expect to eat a meal in Joe Burns' house without Joe thanking God for what He had provided. Family members held hands, bowed heads and heard Joe begin nearly every prayer with, "God our Father, we THANK You…" and then he would enumerate the many blessings which came to mind. He would pray for Gumbo's healing during her last days and he would pray for America's soldiers serving abroad as he did those many years ago. He was a thankful man. Prayer would often conclude with the benediction from the New Testament book of Jude, which Joe would recite from memory. "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. That is our hope as we embrace the memory of a life well lived. Joe Burns is survived by his daughters, Beverly B. Covington, Sharon B. Foret (Lynn), Mary Helen Burns, Melinda B. Moore (Byron); grandchildren, Chad Turner (Andrea), Dr. Andrew Foret (Ashley), Dr. Jonathan Foret (Shane), Ashley F. Dees (John), Amanda F. Azzarello (Marcus), Matthew Moore (Haven), Michael Moore, Elizabeth Moore, John David Moore (Alli); 11 great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Andrews Burns; parents, Issac Lee and Donnie Bell (Boucher) Burns; 9 brothers and sisters. The family extends special thanks for all those who provided loving, skillful care to Joe in the last years of his life. Thanks to Shane McVay, CNP. Thanks also to a wonderful team of current caregivers, including Betty Martin, Monique Grey, Barbara Jenkins, Shantelle White, Virginia Erwin and many other past care givers. Thanks to Elsie Allen and Terri of Angel Care. And thanks for the staff of Premier Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jonesboro United Methodist Church or The Forestry Foundation (a scholarship fund) through the Louisiana Forestry Association. A visitation will be held for family and friends from 4pm to 6pm Sunday, May 20, 2018 at Edmonds Funeral Home of Jonesboro, LA. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 21 at the Jonesboro United Methodist Church in Jonesboro, LA, with Bro. Bill Strawbridge officiating. Interment will take place later that day in the Old Shongaloo Cemetery in Shongaloo, LA. Serving as pallbearers will be Chad Turner, Andrew Foret, Jonathan Foret, Matthew Moore, Michael Moore, John David Moore and A.J. Burns, Jr.
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228 Allen Ave, Jonesboro, LA 71251
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