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Dr. G. Frank Burns, 87

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LEBANON — Memorial services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, July 25 at the First Presbyterian Church, 304 W. Main St., for the late Dr. G. Frank Burns, 87.

Author, educator, local historian and journalist, Dr. G. Frank Burns died Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at the Hearthstone Assisted Living Center in Garland, Texas. Dr. Burns, a longtime editorial contributor to The Wilson Post, had been in poor health for the past few months.

A former college professor at Cumberland University and Tennessee Tech, he held both an undergraduate and a law degree from Cumberland. He also earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University; a master’s degree from Nashville’s George Peabody College and studied at Oxford University, England.

Considered by many to be the most reliable source of Wilson County history, Dr. Burns authored the book "Somewhere in Tennessee / The Cumberland in Wartime, 1940-1947" as well as several other historical works including the updated "History of Wilson County".

He also wrote a detailed account of Cumberland’s infamous 222-0 football loss to Georgia Tech, based on newspaper and other printed reports.

Dr. Burns is credited with having named the cluster of restored buildings at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center "Fiddler’s Grove".

He served for 11 years (1977-1987) as Wilson County Historian and several years as Archivist at Cumberland’s Vise Library.

His journalism career included stints as a correspondent with both the Nashville Banner and the Tennessean and as acting editor and associate editor of the Lebanon Democrat.

Following retirement, Dr. Burns taught several non-credit courses at Cumberland dealing with the supernatural, local folk tales and history and even one on unidentified flying objects in Wilson County.

He is preceded in death by his late wife Johnnie Burns.

During Dr. Burns’ final months he was blessed to receive care and friendship from Rev. Gene Wisdom of the First United Methodist Church of Garland, Texas.

Anyone wishing to make a memorial gift should consider giving to the First United Methodist Church of Garland, 801 W. Avenue B, Garland, TX 75040, or to the First Presbyterian Church of Lebanon, where Dr. Burns was a member for many years.

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