Excerpts from the e-Sylum: John Burns Memorial Fund Update

Each week, CoinWeek, in collaboration with the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, brings you a highlighted feature from the current volume of the E-Sylum eNewsletter.

This week, Pat McBride, administrator of the estate of late numismatic literature dealer John H. Burns, checks in to thank all of John’s friends and colleagues, who contributed funds to help with his final arrangements…

esylum15The fund has grown to just shy of $10,000. For those that were not aware, John Burns passed away unexpectedly in January at the FUN coin show in Orlando. He did not have a will, any close heirs, or life insurance. I requested and was appointed his administrator by Westmoreland County court in February with no funds to begin the process of bringing his remains back to his home in Pennsylvania.

The memorial fund allowed me to have John cremated, fly to Orlando and retrieve John’s ashes, cargo van, book inventory, and personal belongings. I was able to continue to pay his townhouse and storage rental fees until some of his assets could be sold. I purchased a plot at Union Cemetery in Greensburg, PA. The ashes of John, his father Henry, and his mother Vivian are peacefully at rest among the old trees and the beautiful green. His townhouse and storage units have been cleared. A wonderful remembrance dinner was held with his many friends and business associates attending. The fund allowed the start of the estate process and was an immense help; thanks to all of you.

Today, all of his books have been sold, the cargo van that he affectionately referred to as “Shamu” has been sold to a very happy plumber and now has a new life as a Roto-Rooter truck. A number of his foreign and ancient coins have been sold along with a very nice collection of porcelain coins. John did not have a lot of accumulated wealth but had a lot of accumulated debt. His claimants will at least receive 25% of their claims and there is a good chance that I can get that number up to 33% with the proceeds from his remaining assets.

The memorial fund still has about $5,000 remaining that will be used as seed money to create a traveling coin show numismatic reference library in John’s memory. A beginning version was set up at the spring PAN show. The books and seating area are for anyone to use during a show. It is a quiet space to relax, browse, and talk coins. That is what John loved to do at the shows he frequented. His forte was knowledge and friendship. Enthusiasm for the traveling library has been strong.

More planning and logistics will need to take place. It appears that with continued financial support, his memory and impact will live on at future coin shows. Donations can still be made through PAN at www.pancoins.org. I will keep you informed as progress continues. Heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all of you!


Click here to read the rest of this week’s issue of the E-Sylum eNewsletter.

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