Judy Burns 1934-2019

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Judy Burns 1934-2019

Longtime Sheridan resident and former town librarian Judy Burns will be remembered for her outspoken advocacy for children and her helping hands for neighbors and neglected animals.

Mrs. Burns and her late husband, Timothy Stuart (Stu) Burns, the U.S. Forest Service district manager, moved their family to Sheridan from Hamilton on Sept. 7. 1975. She served as librarian for six years, creating a summer reading program and bookstore. During her library tenure, she hosted the Montana Federation of Libraries meetings in Sheridan.

While her children, Kathleen and Malcolm. were in school, Mrs. Burns was a parent activist who brought teachers and parents together to help resolve problems in the public schools. Her parent-teacher group was the first united effort to create a community dialog to benefit schoolchildren.

Mrs. Burns also served as Sheridan Garden Club president. Friends and neighbors admired her gardening skills and often remarked that she had “the most beautiful yard in Sheridan.” Her garden and the mountain hiking trails were her favorite places. “The hills were home to me. I used to ask the Lord if l could stay there – it was home, a quiet place for meditation,” she told a friend after her hiking days were over. ‘”When I gave away my hiking boots and my packs, they had a lot of miles on them.” Her sewing, embroidery and hooked rugs and wall hangings also reflected her love of nature.

During her residence at Sheridan’s Home Park. Mrs. Burns was known as the “Go-To Girl” because she was always the first one out the door for social events, church and trips to town. She served for four years as the worship chairman at the Sheridan Methodist Church, a job she loved. “I got to work with people and I really enjoyed that. I loved the whole job.”

Judy spent her final years at The Legacy in Dillon where she made many dear friends. “Judy was a force of Love at the Legacy. She made it her task to see that every resident got a fully signed birthday card on their big day. She stayed close and advocated for other’s needs.”

While a resident of Hamilton, she spearheaded the campaign for the Animal Humane Society to establish leash laws and a nokill shelter. Prior to her years in Hamilton, the family lived in Camp Crook, South Dakota, where she served as president of the Book Club and the Agriculture Extension Club for which she spent countless hours helping to organize and run the county fair. She also taught Sunday school and was active in Eastern Star.

She is a graduate of the University of Montana and Billings High School. During high school, for one year, she attended a Miami girls’ school run by her great-great aunt. She and her husband were college sweethearts and were married shortly after graduation. They celebrated 43 years of marriage before he passed away.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dec. 4, 1934 to Dr. John and Virginia Hynes, she was raised with three brothers, Dennis Hynes of Boulder, Colorado, and Tim Hynes of Denver, Colorado, and the late Brian Hynes from Minneapolis.

Mrs. Burns is also survived by her children, daughter Kathleen Johnson and her husband Eric of Bakersfield, California, and son Malcolm Burns and his wife Diana of Beaverton, Oregon; grandchildren Andrea L’Heureux and her husband Geoff of Beaverton, Oregon, Denise Miller and her husband Ben LeBeau of Bakersfield, California, Gregory Miller of Alder, Montana; and two greatgrandchildren, Aurora and Timothy of Alder, Montana.

A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church in Sheridan Montana on Friday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. Memorials may be made in Judy’s name to the Sheridan Public Library of Sheridan Montana, the Windows Fund at Christ Episcopal Church in Sheridan, Montana, or the charity of your choice.