Residents, current and former staff members, and other friends gathered in the chapel of The Baptist Home at Arcadia Valley Jan. 21 to celebrate John Burney’s 100th birthday.
Burney was the third superintendent of The Baptist Home and helped kick off the organization’s centennial year with his own centennial.
Current President Steve Jones told the audience that Burney came to The Home as “office man” to Daniel Jefferson Scott in 1936 and saw his future wife Gladys on his first day. In 1953, Burney succeeded Scott as superintendent. He retired in 1974.
“He and Gladys then became super volunteers for The Home,” Jones said. “Seventy-seven years after he arrived in this very building, John is still at it, stopping to see his wife’s sister, good friends Lee and Lois Wilkerson, and others.
“John will be embarrassed by this part but I am going to do it anyway,” Jones said. “His good friend Ed Goodwin (who succeeded Burney as superintendent) calls John the greatest man he has ever known. Our chairman of The Baptist Home Board of Trustees, Jesse Parrott, calls him ‘Mr. Baptist Home.’
“St. Louis and baseball fans everywhere are mourning the loss of a great one, Stan “The Man” Musial,” Jones said. “We thank God that our man, John Burney, is still with us.”