NORWAY – Mary Louise Burns, 82, died Dec. 7, 2018, at the Norway Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Norway. Mary Lou was born on Aug. 11, 1936 in Rumford, to Erlon Clifton Burns and Mary (Elliot) Burns. She grew up on a small farm in the village of Rumford Point. She was raised a strong Christian as a member of the Rumford Point Congregational Church and regularly sang in its choir.

Mary Lou followed her mother into the teaching profession. She graduated from Farmington Teachers College with a B.A. in Education in 1958 and obtained her M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Maine at Orono in 1969. After graduating from Farmington Teachers College, she was hired by the Paris School District (later joining SAD 17) where she labored lovingly for the next 41 years. She applied herself as a teacher, principal, Director of Elementary Education and Personnel Director.

Mary Lou was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, godmother and friend. She loved to be with family and friends, go camping, play cards, quilt, and generally enjoy life. She was intensely interested in and proud of her family. She openly shared her joy for living with those around her.

A regular participant at South Paris First Congregational Church, Mary Lou was very active in many ministries including the Ladies Circle, through which she organized the wreath sale for several years. She also served in the capacity of trustee for a period of time.

Mary Lou was a proud Rotarian for 27 years. Of note was her love for the Dictionary Project (the Rotary provides a new dictionary to each third grader in the district) and she engaged the youth by helping them find the longest word in the dictionary. She was Rotarian of the Year in 2011 and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Zeta Chapter, for 50 years serving as treasurer for many years. Delta Kappa Gamma is dedicated to the professional and personal growth of women in education.

Surviving Mary Lou are her three brothers, Harrison Burns, Elliot (Bud) Burns, married to Barbara (Cameron) Burns, and Richard Burns, married to Barbara (Calderwood) Burns. She is also survived by six nephews and two nieces: Michael Burns, married to Deborah (Wilson) Burns, Robert Burns, married to Louise (Sirois) Burns, David Burns, married to Marcia (Mummé) Burns, Arthur Burns, married to Lisa (Arsenault) Burns, Gayle (Burns) Maddox, married to Eric Maddox, Edward Burns and fiancé, Regina Johnson, William Burns, married to Kristen (Spaulding) Burns and Marcia (Parlin) Bell, married to Richard Bell; as well as by many great nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; her half-brother, Charles Parlin and sister-in-law, Frances Burns.

Visitation will be at Chandler Funeral Home, 45 Main Street, South Paris, on Friday, December 14, from 3-6 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held at the First Congregational Church, 17 E. Main Street, South Paris on Saturday, December 15, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow. A spring interment will be held at Ellis River Cemetery in North Rumford, adjacent to her parents.

The family would like to thank the Norway Center for Health & Rehabilitation, Stephens Memorial Hospital, and Beacon Hospice for the care and compassion extended to Mary Lou. Online condolences may be shared with her family at

In lieu of flowers,

please consider making donations to the

Oxford Hills Rotary

Dictionary Project.

Mail checks to:

Oxford Hills Rotary

P.O. Box 14,

Norway, ME 04268.

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