Virginia Burns, age 95 of Philip, S.D., died Sunday, September 30, 2012, at the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip.
Virginia Johnson was born August 29, 1917, in Sioux City, Iowa, the daughter of Knute Napoleon and Effie Carolyn Johnson. She grew up in Sioux City, and graduated from East High School in 1935. She then attended Morningside College in Sioux City, where she earned her teacher’s certificate. She taught third grade in Sioux City. During World War II, Virginia was an aircraft communicator for the Civil Service and worked at the Philip Airport, assisting with planes crossing the United States. She then taught seventh grade, for one semester at Philip School in 1945.
Virginia was united in marriage to Sherman Burns on December 29, 1945, at Sioux City, Iowa. She stayed home to raise her sons. In 1965 to 1970, she worked as deputy auditor for Haakon County.
In 1970, she taught at Old Trail Rural School north of Philip, and during this time she returned to summer school at Black Hills State College, where she received her bachelor of science degree in 1972. She taught at Philip Elementary from 1972 until 1992. After retiring she volunteered at the grade school until 1998.
During her lifetime, Virginia was very active in the community. Her memberships include First Lutheran Church, where she was on the church council and altar guild, Sunday School superintendent, teacher, and reader. She also was a Girl Scout leader, and past president of the hospital board, and a judge for Junior Miss, 4-H, and declam. She received the PTA Lifetime Award and the Teacher of the Year at the Haakon School District in 1984-1985. Virginia was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, where she served as secretary and Worthy Matron.
Survivors include two sons, Sherman Burns, Jr. of Sheridan, Wyo., and Colin Burns and his wife, Ruth, of Casper, Wyo.; three grandsons, Craig, Kevin and Cory Burns; four great-grandsons, Adam, Brian, Bradley and Jordan; three sisters-in-law, Shirley Johnson of Clintonville, Wis., Jean Burns of Philip and Mary Martha Burns of Rapid City; a special friend, Kay Ainslie and her husband, George, of Philip; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Sherman Burns, on July 22, 1968; her parents; and two brothers, Bob and Edward Johnson.
Services were held Wednesday, October 3, at the American Legion Hall in Philip, with Pastor Frezil Westerlund officiating.
Interment was at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip.
A memorial has been established.
Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com