Ann Wallace Horton Burns

Thursday 30th of September 1920 - Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Ann Wallace Horton Burns

Ann Wallace Horton Burns passed away on January 2, 2021 at the age of 100. Ann was born on September 30, 1920 to Robin A. and Mary (Hayden) Horton in Paris, KY. She graduated from Paris High School and then Transylvania College in 1942. While at Transy she was involved in drama productions and was a member of Chi Omega social sorority. Her brother Peyton introduced her to a fellow Transy student, Ben Burns, who eventually became her husband. After graduation, Ann began her teaching career at the high school in Erlanger, KY.  Ann and Ben married in June 1944 while he was a Navy chaplain. 

When the war ended, Ann and Ben moved to Chicago in order for Ben to complete his graduate studies and serve as a community minister in Waukegan and Oak Park, Illinois. Ann worked with youth groups, sang in the choir and worked with the study department of the Christian’s Women’s Fellowship (CWF). While at Oak Park, Ann was a secretary of the League of Women Voters, chairman of the World Day of Prayer for two years, and served on the board of Chicago United Church Women, working with under achievers.

While in Illinois, she served CWF as Chicago district secretary, state service director, state president, retreat chairman, commission member and for five years (1961-1966) was on the advisory council of International CWF. In 1961, she was elected as the first woman president of the state convention of Illinois.

In the International CWF, Ann served as discussion leader for the first and second Quadrennial Assemblies and as worship chairman for the third Quadrennial Assembly. She also was vice president of the International CWF, elected to a four-year term in 1966.

Ann and Ben happily moved back to Lexington when Ben was offered a faculty position at Transy. In addition to being closer to family, Ann was an ardent Transy basketball fan and could now attend games again. She returned to fulltime teaching, once again working with under achievers and teaching English and social studies in the core program at Morton Junior High School.

Ann, along with Ben, joined Central Christian Church in Lexington, where she taught a church school class of post high school young people, served as a group study chairman for CWF, and later became an elder. In 2011, to commemorate their 20th anniversary, Women’s Ministries Circle 1 of the church renamed their Circle to honor Ann and Virginia Bell. It is now called the Bell Burns Circle.

At age 50, Ann went back to school and received her Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. She continued to teach and especially enjoyed working with under achievers which, she felt, are often neglected in school systems.

Whether it was through her teaching career, church activities, PEO chapter R, Transy alumni connections, bridge games or travel experiences, Ann brought joy and delight to all that knew her.  She was a magnificent spirit. Her grace and sweetness were a blessing, and she will be missed by many.

Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Benjamin F. Burns and two brothers Peyton A. and Robin A. Horton, Jr. She is survived by nephews, great nieces, great nephews and many cousins.

Her burial will be private and a memorial service will be planned for later in 2021.

Memorial donations may be made in Ann’s memory to Transylvania University. 

Guest Book

Karla Corbin


What a wonderful woman! I, too, met Mrs. Burns as a student traveling abroad. She was so kind, patient and always smiling! I will always cherish my memories of her and Dean Burns! I lift up prayers for her family.

1 week ago

David W. Hartley


Sadden to learn of the passing of Mrs. Burns. She was such a remarkable person, and in my book, a true Southern lady. I had the good fortune to be a student of Dean Burns while at Transy, and got to know her through Dean. One summer, Dean and Mrs. Burns along with a few other professors at Transy organized a summer abroad program in Europe. We all had so much fun on that trip and Mrs. B was an integral part of that summer study abroad trip. May her memory be eternal and may she rest in peace. Godspeed. David Hartley, Class of '77.

1 week ago



Ann was a wonderful Aunt to my husband, Ron, and a great friend of mine. We found we had much in common with each other from being Chi Omega sisters to our love of books. Ben took part in marrying us and Ann made it to our 50th Anniversary celebration. I guess now with Ann gone, I am the oldest member of this Buchert- Burns part of the family.

1 week ago