6 N Main • Caldwell, KS • 620-845-6424
Marilyn Helen Zahn Burns (98) journeyed to rest in the arms of God on March 23, 2021, encircled by the love and attention of Sunflower Cottage/Sumner County Hospital District #1 staff, having received comfort care from Kindred Hospice staff.
Marilyn was the first of seven children born to Lyle Leslie Zahn and Elta Rose Dawley Zahn, who wrote in Marilyn’s baby book, “Our Baby’s Name is Marilynn Helen. She was born in the City of Carthage, in the State of New York at 8:30 p.m. on March 13, 1923, and weighed eight lbs., eight oz.“ Marilyn’s name was intended to have had two “n’s,” but just one made it onto the birth certificate. She also noted, “Marilynn smiled for the first time April 21, 1923. Her father was the first one to notice it.” And, “Marilynn was baptized June 14, 1925. Rev. Charles E. Woodley baptized both children.” Marilyn and her brother, Lyle Leslie Zahn Jr., were baptized together in Carthage United Methodist Church.
Marilyn graduated from Carthage High School, and received her bachelor’s degree from Potsdam State Teachers College (now The State University of New York at Potsdam). While in Potsdam, Marilyn met a handsome GI, Charles Corval Burns (known as “Charlie” in New York and “Rowdy” in Kansas), who was studying radio communications for the Army at Clarkson Institute of Technology. He sent his love letters via V-mail when he was in Europe during World War II. They were married on December 26, 1945, in Carthage, New York, and they lived together first in Gloversville (where their daughter Rosa Beth was born) and then in Potsdam, New York (where their son David Charles was born), before moving to Caldwell, Kansas (where their son Robert Keith was born), in 1950.
Marilyn engaged in a variety of professional pursuits. She taught elementary school in Gloversville, New York; offered piano lessons in Caldwell; played the organ at Caldwell Presbyterian Church; provided organ and piano accompaniments in Carthage, Gloversville and Caldwell; substitute taught in Caldwell (She didn’t teach in the area’s country schools because she didn’t want to drive the dirt roads!); served as bookkeeper at and retired from Caldwell State Bank (now Impact Bank).
Marilyn was an active member of the United Methodist Church; the American Legion Auxiliary; the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary; Business and Professional Women; Parent Teachers Association (president). She was an Arthritis Foundation volunteer (following her son Bob’s juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis) and an avid animal lover and genealogist. She enjoyed activities such as golf and bowling, and when she was a runner she would run three miles every morning before work.
Marilyn is survived by daughter Rosa Beth Burns Gibson and her husband Terry; sister Judith Zahn (Norman) Douglas; and three generations of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in the order of their deaths by infant brother Wallace Dawley Zahn; infant son David Charles Burns; parents Lyle Leslie Zahn Sr. and Elta Rose Dawley Zahn; brother Herbert Keith Zahn; husband Charles Corval Burns; brothers Lyle Leslie Zahn Jr. and George Wilbur Zahn; son Robert Keith Burns; and sister Mary Jane Zahn Scanlon. We’re confident that all were among the first to greet Marilyn as she crossed the veil.
Following cremation, services will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Caldwell Methodist Church, Sumner County Dist. #1 Hospital Construction Fund, or to the The Humane Society of the United States (http://www.humanesociety.org/), 2100 L St., NW Washington, D.C. 20037 and sent in care of the mortuary.
Friends may sign the register book 8-5 Monday- Friday.