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Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)
Stephen “Steve” Morris Burns, beloved son, husband, brother, father, grandfather, and devoted minister of music, peacefully entered the gates of heaven on November 20, 2023, at the age of 77.
Steve was born on February 23, 1946, in Salina, Kansas, to Kenneth Morris Burns and Nancy Alice Moses Burns. Steve spent his early years in Kansas and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University. Steve went on to earn a Master’s of Music degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as a Captain in the United States Army, and was the Music Director at Fort Benning, GA. After his time in the military, he was called to serve as the music director at Riverside Baptist Church, and moved to Colorado in 1974. He directed a two hundred voice choir, orchestra, multiple ensembles, created and produced numerous productions each year. He began his music service at West Bowles Community Church in 1991. He is well known for his annual Christmas in Colorado productions at Riverside Baptist and WBCC. Steve dedicated his ministry of advancing the Kingdom for Christ through his music, resulting in touching thousands in his church community. As a music arranger, composer and producer, he shared his gift of instilling those under his direction with confidence to sing. Steve brought people together, and was an amazing mentor, leader, friend and spiritual warrior. As a choir director, he made everyone better, not only as singers but as people.
As important as directing was to Steve, the most important thing in his life was his relationship with Jesus and God’s amazing grace. He carried God’s love with him and in turn loved others fully. When Steve told you he would pray for you…he meant it. Even at the end of his life when he was confined to his bed, he would use that time to pray for others.
Steve was never happier than when he was with his family. Whether that be his siblings or his kids and grandkids, he would organize opportunities for them to all get together as often as possible. And if he could combine music with these interactions, he would do it. There was rarely a time when his family got together that they didn’t end up in his basement recording studio doing some kind of musical arrangement that Steve had thrown together.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; mother, Nancy Burns Bonner, four children, Jon Burns (Julie), Laurie Tonelli (Tom),Tom Burns (Holly), Brian Burns (Kourtney); two step children, Jordan White (Cody), Graham Newell; eighteen grandchildren; sister, Cathy Minton (Jim), two brothers, John Burns (Karen Krueger), David Burns (Holly Bartlett); and several nieces and nephews. Steve is preceded in death by his father Kenneth Morris Burns.
A Celebration of Life service is planned for Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024, at 10 AM, at West Bowles Community Church. In order to honor Steve's memory, donations can be made to www.westbowleschurch.com.