Former Baptist Home Director John Burney Dies at 105 - Word&Way

Former Baptist Home Director John Burney Dies at 105

John H. Burney died Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at The Baptist Home, Arcadia Valley campus.

The third superintendent (director) of The Baptist Home, John was 105 years old. He was affectionately known as “Mr. Baptist Home” by staff and trustees, since he was only a few months older than The Home itself, founded in 1913. 

John BurneyJohn BurneyBurney served as superintendent from 1953 to 1974. After attending Chillicothe Business School and working in the Kansas City rail yard, he became secretary and bookkeeper for Dr. D.J. Scott, The Home’s second superintendant, in Nov. 1936.

He married Gladys Phillips in July of 1937, who preceded him in death. Gladys served alongside John for 73 years. They had two daughters and a son: Ruth Ann, who died from meningitis at age 10, Jeanette and J.T.

In 1953, when he was elected superintendent of The Home, John managed 15 staff and 65 residents. When he retired, in 1975, The Home had grown to 62 staff and 185 residents.

John Burney, pictured with staff as superintendentJohn Burney, (third from left, front row) pictured with staff as superintendentBurney was a long-time member of First Baptist Church, Ironton, Mo., where he served in many roles over the years, including deacon chair, financial secretary and head of the pastor search and building committees.

Baptist Home President Steven Jones recalled Burney’s legacy, saying “John brought humility, efficiency, respect, growth and stability to the ministry of The Home. John was known for his keen mind and sense of humor. He was truly an amazing mentor to me personally. Not only did he exhibit great leadership but taught us how to age gracefully.

“I thank the Lord for sharing the life of John and Gladys Burney with The Baptist Home family and so many others.”

Services are planned at First Baptist Church, Ironton, on Thursday, September 27, with visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 11:00 a.m.