Burns celebrates 50th anniversary in community

One of pillars of the Russellville business community has served the area now for 50 years. It’s a milestone that calls for celebration, and Burns Nursing & Rehab celebrated its golden anniversary in memorable fashion Friday, hosting Congressman Robert Aderholt as special guest and welcoming employees, friends and community members for a time of nostalgia and fellowship.

Mark DeArman took those gathered on a walk down memory lane, from Burns Nursing Home’s beginnings under hisgrandparents, Dr. John and Ethel Burns in 1966, through its transition to his mother, Martha Burns DeArman, and to his own part in the facility, which he joined in 2003 and in which he has served as administrator for five years.

“Our mission is to serve our community as a recognized leader in quality rehabilitation services and long-term care,” he said. “Our staff always goes above and beyond for our residents.” He particularly recognized the staff for their tireless efforts during the week of the nursing home’s 50th anniversary preparation, during which the facility also underwent annual state inspection. “Our staff was working on ‘Dr. Burns hours,’” he quipped. “It has been a long week, but our staff really worked hard and outdid themselves.”

Aderholt speaks to those gathered to celebrate 50 years of Burns Nursing Home’s operation in Russellville.
Aderholt speaks to those gathered to celebrate 50 years of Burns Nursing Home’s operation in Russellville.

Aderholt offered his congratulations for the Burns and DeArman families “for your long care, commitment and dedication to this area.” In commemoration, Aderholt will enter details about Dr. John Burns and Burns Nursing & Rehab’s long history into the official congressional record.

Mayor David Grissom recognizes Burns Nursing Home with a mayoral proclamation.
Mayor David Grissom recognizes Burns Nursing Home with a mayoral proclamation.

Mayor David Grissom was also on hand to bestow a special honor upon Burns Nursing Home. Grissom presented a mayoral proclamation naming Aug. 26, 2016, “Dr. John D. Burns Day” in the City of Russellville.

“It’s a great day in the city of Russellville,” Grissom declared in his signature style. “This is a great story of a family- owned and operated business … Thank you so much for what you have done.”

Martha DeArman took the podium last to address the crowd gathered to celebrate with her family. She shared advice given to her by her father when she began working at the nursing home. The heart of his advice? Be kind to people.

A table at the celebration boasted portraits of the Burns, both of whom, Martha said, lived at Burns Nursing Home themselves before their passing. Martha’s sister Ginny also once lived in the home, and Martha said she believes – although they never said it – that her parents originally opened the nursing home to ensure long-term care for Ginny, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Martha Burns DeArman shares a special moment with her sons.
Martha Burns DeArman shares a special moment with her sons.

The Burns themselves might have benefited from the business they established, but most would agree the community has benefited even more from the loving care this family and staff has shown throughout the years. The home stands as a lasting testament to their memory, and their descendants and staff are set to continue in service for years to come.

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