Mildred “Mena” Anderson Burns, died peacefully on November 17, 2021, at the Penney Retirement Community, outside Jacksonville, Florida, at the age of 95. Mena was born on August 28, 1926, in Anderson, South Carolina to Louis Harrison Anderson and Evelyn Cunningham Anderson.
During her early childhood, Mena lived in Anderson, South Carolina, Birmingham, Alabama and then moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1940. Mena graduated from Robert E. Lee High School before attending Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. After graduating in 1948, she returned to Jacksonville and taught at Landon Elementary School. Mena met and married James “Jim” Cannon Burns, Jr., her devoted husband for over 70 years, in Jacksonville, FL.
Mena’s priorities in life were her family and faith. Mena was a member of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL prior to her marriage, and then a member of the United Methodist Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The joys of her life were being with her husband Jim, their five children and fourteen grandchildren. Mena was a gracious host to many family holiday gatherings at their farm home in Shelbyville, TN, their mountain home in Wolf Laurel Resort, Mars Hill, NC and their beach property in St. Augustine, FL. Mena was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend to all. “Meme”, as she was called by her grandchildren, enjoyed playing cards, board games and making crafts and art projects. Mena also loved singing with her family and grandchildren the same songs she learned as a child, including “You Are My Sunshine”, “Casey Would Waltz” and “The Old Apple Tree”. Mena was a member of the Garden Club and Bridge Club in Shelbyville. She and Jim enjoyed numerous annual vacations with a group of close friends they called “The Golden Ponders”.
Mena is survived by her husband, James Cannon Burns, Jr. (who is 100 years old), her children Linda Burns Bayles (Brad), Bob Anderson Burns (Cathy), Ben Anderson Burns (Christina), Kent Anderson Burns (Susan) and Mary Anderson Burns Murray (Jack); her beloved grandchildren, Amanda Burns Cody (William); James Anderson Bayles; Taylor McKenzie Bayles, Benjamin Burns Bayles, Cannon Anderson Burns, Kendall Elizabeth Burns, Morgan Magdalene Burns, Anderson William Burns; Mary Jordan Anderson Burns, Virginia Anderson Burns; Ashton Burns Murray Tingas (Arthur), James Kirtis Murray, IV (Emma), Kaitlin Sandra Murray, and Cody Madison Murray; and her extended family of nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her loving sister, Evelyn “Bebe” Anderson Baker (Jimmy) of Jacksonville, Florida, and her sister, Mary McCorkle Anderson.
The family would especially like to thank the caregivers at Penney Retirement Community for their care and love of Mena over the years. A private graveside service will be held by the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Penney Retirement Community, 3495 Hoffman St, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
or Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL.