top of page

Marilyn Burns

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 (, 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.


Prayers for all family

Pam Friend - 03/23/2021

Prayers for all family members. I have thought of her often. She was a great lady, she considered me a daughter lol. I loved that. Lord bless this family.

Dear Family

Debbie Kolarik ... - 03/24/2021

It was an honor to have been an organ student of Marilyn's and her birthday 'twin'( as she called it) She was so talented and I truly ebjoyed my time learning from her. Her memory will live forever in my heart.

Rosa Beth

Jarrod Weir - 03/24/2021

Your loss is felt deeply by those who cared for Marilyn. I count myself lucky I was able to get to know and care for her. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Your mom was such a special lady. -Jarrod aka Everett

Sorry to learn of Marilyn's passing.

Marilyn Houlden - 03/27/2021

was a special person. It was always fun to "bump" into her at the grocery store or other places in Caldwell years ago. We always joked about having the same name. As she became a part of Sunflower Cottages at the south end of the hospital I enjoyed stopping by to say hello. As years passed it was harder for her to communicate, but she still had her smile. With the coronavirus shut downs visiting stopped. It was good to read that she has a good group who welcomed her as she passed on. Love and blessings to you, Rosa Beth and all family

Rosa Beth and Terry

Roberta Clark(Bert) - 03/27/2021

I am so very sorry for your loss. Marilyn will be very missed. She was always happy and in the day always enjoyed asking about Michelle's daughter that JRA. It isn't the same any more with her not with us. But I know she is dancing in heaven and making time up with her heavenly family.I pray for comfort for you and God's healing arms of comfort for you

So sorry to hear of MariIyns

Randy ZIGGY Ryan - 03/28/2021

So sorry to hear of MariIyns passing. The whole Burns family were near and dear to my heart. I could tell you some real knee slappers of the experiences I have had with them. But, I'll save those for Rosa Beth. Deepest prayers and thoughts for the family.



Please know that all IP Addresses are recorded for all submissions.

bottom of page