January 2, 1924 – September 11, 2020
Dr. John Knox Burns, III was born in Gainesville, January 2, 1924. He was the son of Gladys Asbury Burns and Dr. John Knox Burns, Jr.
Dr. Burns attended Gainesville High School but ultimately graduated from Riverside Military Academy. Dr. Burns attended Davidson College for his undergraduate degree before attending the Medical College of Georgia, School of Medicine. He served in World War II in the Army specialized program for training and later served two years in the Navy, as the ship’s physician, during the Korean War on amphibious fleets.
Dr. Burns, a third generation physician, spent his thirty seven year medical career as an obstetrics and gynecology specialist in Gainesville. He was proud that he delivered over 3,000 babies! Dr. Burns treated his patients and staff as “family” and kept in touch with many, even after his retirement in 1993. He was an Eagle Scout, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He was a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the Georgia Medical Association, and a member of the Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology Society. Dr. Burns also served two terms as chief of staff at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. He volunteered at Good News at Noon as a gynecologist for thirteen years, and was a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
At First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Burns was active in several leadership roles through the years, including serving as a Deacon and an Elder.
Dr. Burns is preceded in death by his parents, his wife of fifty six years, Felicia Jackson Burns and his sister, Beverly Burns Ledaqkowski.
His greatest accomplishment was being a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. He is survived by sons James Doss Burns of Fremont, Michigan, John Asbury Burns (Tina) of Gainesville, and daughter, Betsy Burns Sherry (Jeff) of Douglasville, Georgia. He was “Pops” to his eight grandchildren – Susan Burns Walker (Michael), John Knox Burns, IV (Mandy), Ryan James Burns, Grayson John Burns (Kimmy), John Dowling Marlow, Timothy Burns Marlow, William Randall Marlow, and Matthew Jackson Marlow. He is also survived by four great grandchildren, Christopher Ryan Burns, Mary Knox Walker, John Knox Burns V, and Mabel Breck Burns. Dr. Burns is survived by three first cousins, William Brantley Burns (Sandra), Robert Knox Burns and Barbara Burns Roper (Henry). Dr. Burns is also survived by Grace Dooley, our “amazing Grace”, a very special friend, a gift from God, and Dr. Burns’ caregiver during his later years.
Dr. John Burns was a Southern gentleman in every sense of the word. He was kind, courteous and honorable. He will be missed by many.
A family graveside service at Alta Vista Cemetery is scheduled for Saturday, September 19 at 1:00 pm. For those wishing to do so, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Riverside Military Academy Scholarship Fund, 2001 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30501.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com.