Alice Barclay Burns, age 88, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on April 8, 2023, in Franklin, Tennessee.
Alice was born on November 22, 1934, in Des Moines, Iowa to the late Haven Arthur Barclay and Alice Correll Barclay. She was a graduate of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines and completed the Alabama Dental Hygiene Program at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
On November 28, 1959, Alice married Thomas Joseph Burns, Jr, her husband of 63 years, in Birmingham, and moved to his hometown of Nashville, TN. She was a devoted wife, and loving mother of Cathy Melendez (Alex), Jeff Burns (Jill), Julie Burns and Chris Burns. Tom and Alice saved and sacrificed to invest in their children’s well-being and Catholic education. They raised their family in an idyllic Brentwood, TN neighborhood, and spent many hours serving in various ways as members of St. Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, TN. Among Alice’s contributions, she volunteered with the Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement program and Meals on Wheels, and served as the St. Philip religious education director for several years.
Alice later studied and became certified to practice as a dental hygienist in Tennessee. She then changed course and obtained an associate’s degree in computer programming from Nashville State Technical Institute, wrote an accounting and payroll system, and started Micro-Business-Systems, which served her clients with software and accounting services until her retirement.
Alice and Tom both loved their retirement years. They were adventurous travelers, roaming from Florida to Alaska, New Jersey to California in their RV. Even in her final months, she longed to hit the road again.
Alice’s family will continue to treasure so many aspects of her – she was a steady and loving parent who gave her children guidance and support, as well as room to make mistakes; an adoring grandmother who recognized the importance of construction paper, Play-doh and glitter; a talented artisan who created intricate beadwork, finely tailored clothing and beautiful still life paintings; a fierce competitor who played Yahtzee even after her competitors had to tell her what she had rolled; a lover of Audrey Hepburn movies and Willie Nelson tunes; a lifelong learner who was studying a psychology textbook in her last months, as a caregiver read it to her; a friend who cherished the bridge games at the Senior Center; and a faithful servant of God, who held her rosary until her final hours.
Alice is preceded in death by her beloved husband and parents, her sister, Gayle Lee Barclay, and her brother, Steven Arthur Barclay. She is survived by her four children; five grandchildren: Christine Magowan (Bart), Margaret Melendez (John Bedont), Emily Melendez (Grayson Knight), Thomas Burns and Matthew Burns; four great-grandchildren: Hannah, Owen, Emma and Braden Magowan; as well as Alice’s surviving sister and brother, Janice Barclay and Kenneth Barclay (Shirley), as well as beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Alice’s children have endless gratitude for Mary Shaffer and Melissa White, caregivers turned dear friends, who helped her children to care for both parents in their final months.
Services will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at St. Philip Catholic Church, 113 Second Ave. S, Franklin, TN 37064. Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m., followed by a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow at the church. Alice’s remains will be interred alongside those of Tom Burns, at the Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 7931 McCrory Lane, Nashville, TN 37221, at 2:00 p.m.
In Lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Father Ryan High School Annual Fund.