Dog 02

Dr. R. Stephen Burns

January 18, 1945 ~ March 18, 2019 (age 74)


The sweetest, kindest, most gentle veterinarian left for heaven to love the fur babies there. Dr. R. Stephen Burns passed away Monday, March 18, 2019.

His love for animals was overshadowed only by his love for friends and family; especially his wife of 53 years (or 371 “dog years”), Rama, son Matt, sweet pup Cooper and his adopted children Nikki & Chris Fleenor.

During his years of practice, he served on the Tennessee Veterinary Ethics Board. He gave free veterinary care to licensed wildlife rehab facilities, acted as an officer in the state KVMA, and was recognized by nationally-renowned artist Guy Coleach for his volunteer work with wildlife. Dr. Burns was a lifetime member of the AVMA, a community volunteer; and, until his health prohibited, he was active as a proud Rotarian.

Adding to the joy in his life was his brother, Timothy (& Trish) Burns; sisters-in-law, Norma (& Paul) Kuisle, and Marion (& Tom) Culberson; brother-in-law, John Beaty; nieces & nephews Susan, Cindy, Greg, Barbie, Rachel, Tom, Carl, Chris, David, and Cheryl (as well as their respective spouses); as well as several great and great-great nieces & nephews.

Dr. Burns' staff at Animal Hospital meant SO much to him. They were his support team, and they, too, were his family. His pet parents also meant the world to him. The family wishes to extend special thanks to Dr. Kaye Busler and Dr. Andrew Kruer.

A memorial reception will be held at Animal Hospital (1130 W. Main Street - Morristown) on Sunday, March 31st from 2PM to 4PM.

Those who may have stories to share are encouraged to write them down to be given to Dr. Burns’ family.

Condolences may also be signed online at

Brown Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Dr. Burns.


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