Kay Willis Burns

Kay Willis Burns, 62, beloved wife of Rusty Burns, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, February 2, 2024. Of Honea Path, she was the cherished daughter of the late George Kenneth and Betty Kay Willis.


Kay's academic journey was marked by her passion for learning, earning degrees from Furman University, Clemson University, and The University of South Carolina. Her most fond being Carolina, as she proudly followed in her father’s footsteps. For those who shared a close connection with her, Kay's interests extended beyond education and encompassed a deep love for animals, a fascination with genealogy, and a particular fondness for Halloween. Additionally, she delighted in attending the fair and enthusiastically supported Carolina Gamecock football and Atlanta Braves baseball.

Kay's commitment to the community was evident through her extensive involvement in various organizations. She served as the former President of the Anderson County Humane Society, Board Member of the Cancer Association of Anderson, Board Member of the Fork Shoals Historical Society, Chairperson of the Anderson County Genealogical Society, and volunteer for the Trans-Atlantic Children’s Enterprise (TRACE), where she successfully helped War Babies of WWII in the United Kingdom identify and locate their American fathers. Her selfless actions left a lasting impact on those around her, showcasing her unwavering dedication to the well-being of both people and animals. She will be greeted in heaven by her furry children Casey, Little Casey, Oliver, Matilda, Roscoe, Woofy, Brownie, Buddy, and Pinky.

Surviving relatives who mourn her loss include her beloved husband, Ward Russell (Rusty) Burns Jr.; three daughters, Jennifer Morris, Shanon Burns, and Alexandria VanBuren; son in law, Jim Morris; daughter in law, Jenny VanBuren; two grandchildren, Denver and Atlas VanBuren; a brother, Mark Willis; sister in law, Carolyn Willis; two nephews, Matthew and Nathan Willis; two nieces by marriage, Brandi and Alee Willis; three great nephews, Ryan, Chase, and Jacob Willis; two great nieces Reagan and Riley Willis; and two special friends, Emory Edwards and Susan Stone. She was predeceased by her parents.

A private service will be held to celebrate Kay's life. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorials be sent to the Cancer Association of Anderson, a cause close to Kay's heart.

Messages of condolence and memories of Kay may be shared with the family at www.ParkerWhitePruitt.com.

Service Details

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