Linda Burns

Obituary of Linda Foard Burns


Linda Foard Burns

October 22, 1938 – February 11, 2024

Linda Barbara Foard was born on October 22, 1938 to Lawrence C. Foard & L. Margaret Foard in Dover, Delaware.  

Her parents, and brother Larry, provided a loving family home to grow up in.  They bestowed a life-long appreciation for family, history and culture, a concern for community and fellow humans, and a strong faith.  Fond memories of her childhood included short family vacations (they took advantage of every free exhibit, program, and event within a one-day round trip range!), assisting in the family garden, sitting on the back porch listening to nature (her father always able to identify each bird), and especially being in her father’s woodshop and watching him work on projects, always explaining to her what he was doing.

From an early age, Linda enjoyed stamp-collecting, needlework, quilting, and all manner of arts and crafts.  Her homes for the rest of her life would be filled with evidence of her creativity.  She loved reading and especially children’s literature.  Music was also important and she played piano and clarinet and even tried her hand at the accordion and was in the “all-state” band in high school.

At 16, she worked as a proofreader for the Delaware State News and later wrote a column (“Inside Dover High”) to share good news about teenagers and high school happenings.  At 17, Linda started working summers at the State Library Commission.  Linda graduated from Dover High School in 1956, winning the “Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year Award.”

In a time when few women entered the sciences, she majored in Math and minored in Physics and English Composition at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and graduated in 1960.  Realizing there was a more likely career in Library work, she earned an MALS in 1962 from the University of Michigan.

After graduating, she returned home to Dover where she met Dr. Donald A. Burns in the spring of 1962.  She was in the choir at People’s Church (United Church of Christ) and he was the new organist.  A matchmaker seated her directly across from him so he couldn’t help but notice her!  They were engaged after only 12 dates and married on March 16, 1963.

Their long marriage led to three children: Douglas, Trudi, and McAndrew.  From Dover, they moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin and then to Putnam Valley, New York.  After the children were gone from the house, they moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico where they lived for more than 30 years.

While raising three children, Linda was always a part of their lives and extra-curricular activities: PTA, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts.  She was also in the center of things with lots of projects (string art, wooden trivets, a Teepee in the back yard, catering for 100+ for various Scout Award dinners, etc.)  Her love of family and holidays translated into the most creative birthday parties, Christmases, Easters, and Halloween costumes.  For decades she created annual homemade Christmas ornaments and sent them to family and friends.  There were always nightly family sit-down dinners and her chocolate cake and cookies were legendary.  In addition to being an amazing homemaker, she worked as a medical transcriptionist and also as a typesetter for a local newspaper.  

She collected stuffed bears, salt cellars, dollhouse miniatures, and material for hundreds and hundreds of quilt projects. Linda enjoyed travel with family and husband Don and they visited all fifty states and particularly loved the trips they took to Australia, Scotland, Alaska, and the Panama Canal.

A lifelong passion was helping others, particularly the hungry.  This started in New York, when she quietly got the names of needy families from the school and had the Scout Troops raise money for groceries at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  When she and Donald moved to New Mexico, she became a driving force behind LA Cares, an organization dedicated to feeding and helping those in need.  Her basement was filled with supplies and she had a key to a half dozen churches for additional food storage areas.  They always made sure they had a van so she could haul food and supplies around.  

Major accomplishments included being recognized in 2000 with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women for her efforts with LA Cares, being named a “Los Alamos Living Treasure” in 2020, and being adored by all of her children’s spouses.  

She belonged to a quilting group, the White Rock Presbyterian Church, PEO, and LA Cares.

After the death of husband Donald in 2022, she moved to Florida to be nearer son Douglas and his family.

She was preceded in death by her parents Lawrence and Margaret Foard, her brother Larry, and husband Donald.  Linda is survived by her three children Douglas Burns (Imogene) of Melbourne, FL, Trudi Patterson (Steven) of Westwood, Kansas, and McAndrew Burns (Rene’) of Astoria Oregon; her six grandchildren Courtney Grayson (David), Rachel Fackler, Lauren Hartline (Jacob), Kristen Hoffower (Jeremy), Miles Patterson, and Donovan Burns; and two Great-Grandchildren (James & Olivia); and countless friends and people she helped in small and great ways.  They will always remember her nightly “swill runs” to get a big Diet Coke.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making contributions in Linda’s memory to LA Cares (Los Alamos, New Mexico), White Rock Presbyterian Church (White Rock, NM), or your local food bank.   

Note to Linda – please don’t correct this with your red pen like you did all of our homework assignments and even handouts from teachers.


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