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John J. Burns

Mr. John Burns of Okawville, IL departed this life at his residence surrounded by his family, on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 8:23 P.M. He had attained the age of 68 years, 7 months, and 29 days.

John was born in East St. Louis, IL on April 20, 1953, the son of Jesse and Virginia “Ginny” (nee Hopkins) Burns. He was united in marriage to Victoria Yates in the Zion Lutheran Church in Belleville, IL on January 8, 1972, and she survives his passing.

John was a 1971 graduate of Belleville East High School where he played football and was a record-breaking shot putter on the track and field team. Following graduation, John enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and did tours of duty in Vietnam, being honorably discharged in 1975 having attained the rank of Lance Corporal. After being discharged, Mr. Burns worked as a coal miner in the Baldwin Underground Mine #1 at Baldwin, IL. When the mines closed, John went to school to obtain his water and sewer operator’s license and soon thereafter, was hired by the Village of Okawville as the Water and Sewer Superintendent, a position he held for 24 years until retiring in 2018. John took great pride in his work and always strived to do the best job that he could, no matter what the job was.

Mr. Burns was a faithful and active member of the Nashville Assembly of God Church in Nashville, IL where he had served on the board several times and ran the soundboard for church services. He enjoyed spending time outdoors fishing and trapping and he also enjoyed cooking. John was also a bit of do-it-yourselfer and a tinkerer and could fix most anything that needed fixing or repaired. 

Left to mourn his passing is his wife, Vicky Burns of Okawville; a daughter, Angie Burns of Belleville; two brothers, Jess Burns Sr and wife Sharon of Peoria, IL and Ronald Burns and wife Carol of Newcastle, PA; a sister, Denise Massey and husband Danny; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, numerous nieces, and nephews, as well as a host of friends. One of John’s nephews once said that “Uncle John was the most tender tough-guy I’ve ever known.” He will be missed by all who knew him.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Deana Traiteur.

Funeral services will be held from the Nashville Assembly of God Church in Nashville, on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 11 A.M. with Pastor Matthew Craft officiating. Military rites will be accorded by American Legion Post 110 of Nashville. Following the services, cremation will be performed with interment of ashes at a later date.

Friends may call at the Nashville Assembly of God Church on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 from 9 A.M. until the times of the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Nashville Assembly of God Church and will be accepted by the Campagna Funeral Home.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made at

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