Obituary for Betty Burns

Funeral service for Betty Burns of Heavener is 2 p.m., Monday at the Trinity Baptist Church in Heavener with Reverend Paul Puckett and Reverend Jeff Beshears officiating. Burial will follow in Heavener Memorial Park under the direction of Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home of Heavener.

Betty was born Oct. 1, 1939 in Page to J.E. and Mary E. (Jackson) Brown and passed away surrounded by family and friends Dec. 8, 2023 in Heavener at the age of 84.

Betty was a life-long resident of the area and a 1957 graduate of Heavener High School. She attended Mellies School of Cosmetology in Fort Smith.  Betty was a founding member of the Trinity Baptist Church at its current location on Creek Street.  

She loved the outdoors, especially working in her yard, and won Heavener’s “Yard of the Week” award multiple times. She created the 3 B’s Park in an area just north of her current residence, in memory of her late husband and grandchildren, filling it with many areas of comfort and interest in order to offer her hospitality to those she loved. 

Betty loved the outdoors, life, and people. She participated in senior athletics, including basketball and track. She won several medals in track, including races as long as 5K, and once completed a half-marathon in her 70’s. She was also a member and player for the Oklahoma Classics Basketball team.  The team traveled all over the country playing in tournaments and won several honors, including the 1999 National Championship.

She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. Her smile could light up the room. Betty will be missed by all who loved and knew her.

Surviving family members are one son Marcus Burns and wife Kimberly of Fayetteville, Arkansas; two grandchildren Anthony and Emily Burns, both of Fayetteville, Arkansas; two sisters Dorthy Steelman and Corine Moody, both of Heavener; one brother-in-law, Marvin Morrison, of the Haw Creek community; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other loved ones, and a host of many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents Jim and Mary Brown; her husband, Norris Burns; her companion, Gilly Robinson; two grandchildren Aiden and Kimber Burns; two brothers Baby Boy Brown and J.T. Brown; five sisters Mozell Johnson and husband Grady, Maureen May and husband Junior, Bonnie Gillham and husband Bud, Laverne Doyle and husband Vernon, and Geneva Morrison; two brothers-in-law Chief Steelman and Bobby Moody; and four nephews Roger Steelman, Mitchell May, Gary Gillham and Eddie Gillham.

Pallbearers are Steve Hembree, Brad Morris, Leroy Nolan, Ron Tucker, Craig Olive, Gary Youree and James McMillan.

Viewing is from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. until noon Monday, with the family visiting with friends from 2 until 4 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

To sign Betty’s online guestbook please visit

The HOL/LCJ publishes paid obituaries for $25, which includes the photo and all the information and death notices, which only includes information about the service.