Madelaine Burns

August 16, 1922January 20, 2012

Madelaine White Burns, 89, of Evansville, passed away January 20, 2012, at Golden Living Center-Woodlands in Newburgh.

She was born on August 16, 1922, in Norwood, New York, to Raymond and Ruth White. She graduated from Norwood High School in 1940 and the University of Cincinnati in 1944, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics. She worked as a therapeutic dietitian at St. Luke’s Hospital and United Hospital in New York City while her fiancé, John Richard Burns, served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Upon his return, they were married in 1946 at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City. Madelaine earned her Master’s Degree in 1961 from Syracuse University and taught home economics at Norwood Norfolk Central School until 1968 when her family moved to Evansville. She was an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the University of Evansville until her retirement in 1982.

Always committed to community service, Madelaine volunteered with the American Red Cross, the Southwestern Dietetics Association, Meals on Wheels, Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve, Angel Mounds, Willard Library, and the Vanderburgh County Home Extension Service. She was a lifelong Episcopalian, and her love of the Lord led her to be an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal church of Evansville, serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Altar Guild, and a member of St. Mary’s Guild. On many Saturday mornings she could be found at the soup kitchen at St. Paul’s and the clothing bank, which she organized.

Madelaine was a devoted wife and mother whose kind nature and sense of humor will always be remembered by her loving family.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, John, and two daughters, Mary Catherine Burns and Nancy Jean Paxton.

She is survived by her three sons; John R. Burns, Jr. (Carol) of Eugene, OR, Stephen Burns (Linda), of Indianapolis, IN, and Thomas Burns (Patricia of Detroit, MI; daughter, Patricia Herrin (Dan) of Newburgh, IN; three grandsons, Vaughn Paxton (Andrea) of Indianapolis, Jarrod Burns (BreAnn) of Indianapolis, and Ryan Pelky of Evansville; four granddaughters, Heather Redman (Ric) of Seattle, WA, Emily Paxton of Boston, MA, Marissa Mitchell (Mike) of Newburgh, and Ashleigh Kilgard (Chris) of Indianapolis; as well as seven great-grandchildren, Jing Redman, Dillon, Reese, and Chloe Burns, Lauren and Nathan Paxton, and Lily Mitchell.

Madelaine’s family would especially like to thank the staff at Atria Newburgh, Woodlands Golden Living Center Newburgh, and Aseracare Hospice for their loving care and support.

Visitation will be held at Alexander Newburgh Chapel on Saturday, January 28, 2 – 4 PM. A celebration of Madelaine’s life along with her interment alongside her husband and two daughters will take place in Riverside Cemetery in Norwood, NY in late June.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Philips Episcopal Church in Norwood, NY and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Evansville.



  • Visitation Saturday, January 28, 2012


  • Funeral Service

Madelaine Burns

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Karen Peninger

January 29, 2012

Mrs. Burns was my Professor in Nutrition when I was a nursing student at UofE many years ago! She was an excellent teacher, very patient, but tough! She had a passion for what she was teaching. A lovely lady......I know she will be missed. My thoughts and prayers will be with her family.

Jylene Wright

January 29, 2012

Dear Patty & Family,

Our prayers and thoughts are with you all as David and I remember your sweet mother. I remember with fondness working with both Madelaine and Dick at St. Paul's. Madelaine was always so thoughtful and in later years never forgot to ask us about our two children Jennifer and Benjamin. Both your parents contributed so much to St. Paul's over the years. And I loved seeing her young picture in her obituary. What a beautiful lady, as she was all her life.

January 26, 2012

She has been my dear Mom since I stayed with the Burns family back in 1965-66.
Your whole family here misses you.
Your Icelandic son, Stefán

Anne Rasico

January 26, 2012

She was an excellent sweet lady. There is no one quite like her. I'm saddened she is gone but happy she's in a better place. Much love to the family always

Nadine Coudret

January 26, 2012

I worked with Madeline while at UE. She was a gracious caring lady who did much good for many.

Stefán Jónsson

January 26, 2012

My dear Mom since I spent a year with the Burns family back in 1965-66.
Thank you for everything.
The Icelandic son, Stefán

Shirley Lamb

January 26, 2012

Dear Patty, Marissa and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Madelaine's smile. It is never easy to accept such a loss. Know I am thinking of you and will keep you in prayer.
Shirley Lamb

January 26, 2012

Aunt Maddy was always a wonderful lady and welcomed me into the Burns family with great warmth. I will always cherish the great times we had at their home in Evansville, with the pool, delicious food & fun times!! She will be greatly missed.
Mary Burns (David's wife)