Thomas J. Burns, 67, of New Castle died Nov. 17, 2009, in Jameson Hospital.

Born Aug. 9, 1942, in New Castle, he was the son of Thomas Edward and Gladys Rowland Burns.

He married the former Linda Spinney on June 3, 1966. She survives in New Castle.

He was a private during peacetime in the Marine Corps.

Thomas was a graduate of Youngstown State University with a bachelor of science and master of arts in English literature. He was a professional writer and had retired from teaching freshman English at several local colleges.

He published three books: “Effective Communications and Advertising for Financial Institutions,” “Modern Human Resource Management for Banks,” and “Surviving Freshman English.”

He has published full articles in Reader’s Digest, Nation’s Business, Science Digest, Sports History, Pennsylvania Illustrated, Early American Life, The Wall Street Journal and Accent. His original article, The Second Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told, published in the December 1989 edition of Reader’s Digest, was the magazine’s most widely read article of 1989 and it was reprinted in 17 foreign editions of the magazine.

In addition to writing, he enjoyed photography, traveling and spending time with his family. Mr. Burns was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, and he will be greatly missed.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by one daughter and son-in-law, Karen and David Gall of Raleigh, N.C.; one son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Sandy Burns of Fredericksburg, Va.; and one granddaughter, Kate Burns.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Rowland Burns; and one infant sister, Susan.

Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. today and 10 to 11 a.m. tomorrow at the R. Cunningham Funeral Home and Crematory, 2429 Wilmington Road.

A service will be conducted at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the funeral home. The Rev. Dr. John Miller of First United Methodist Church will officiate.

Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery.

Online condolences may be offered by visiting www.cunninghamfh.com.

Please sign the guestbook at www.legacy.com/ncnewsonline/Obituaries.asp.

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