Terry Jane Burns, 63, of St. Simons Island, Ga., returned to her heavenly home peacefully on Dec. 31, 2018, after battling cancer.
Terry was born on Nov. 13, 1955, in Brunswick, Ga., to Robert Clifford “Bobby” Burns and Beverly (Bruce) Burns. She grew up on St. Simons Island, where she attended St. Simons Elementary School, Glynn County Junior High, and graduated from Glynn Academy in 1973. During childhood, she cultivated a love for dance, and was taught locally by Earle Bagley and Gail Moore, performing as a principal dancer for the Brunswick Civic Ballet Company. After graduating high school, she studied ballet under The Leonards at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. She then transferred to UNC at Greensboro where she was educated in modern dance and ballet under ballet master Joseph Levinoff, and earned her bachelor’s degree in dance and theatre in 1977. Terry enjoyed studying modern dance under Dorothy Berea Silver, a member of the Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham Dance Companies. Post college, she continued to study dance in Atlanta, Ga., and New York City, N.Y.
Over the next 40 years, Terry carried on her love for the art of dance through teaching. She founded multiple dance studios including The Turning Point and Agape Dance Studio. She also taught ballet for other studios throughout the Golden Isles, including The Gail Moore School of Dance and, most recently, at Jill Stanford Dance Center, where she choreographed performances of Tchaikovsky’s classical ballet, “The Nutcracker,” for many years. She believed that ballet teaches hard work, self-discipline, poise and precision, and pushed her students to enjoy both classical and modern choreography and expression. She gently but firmly directed and molded her students to do their best. She loved worshiping the Lord through dance and lead workshops with local churches to encourage dance as a form of worship. Beyond dance, Terry taught in the Georgia public school system for 10 years, touching the lives of many along the way.
Terry was a “creative” in every sense of the word. She enjoyed musical theatre, photography, baking, thrifting and exploring through travel. She loved to adventure and see where the roads would take her — always taking the scenic route — whether it be to the mountains, a local coffee shop or a weekend music festival. She was a free-spirited, fun-loving mother and grandmother “Miss” who delighted in spending time with her grandchildren, family and friends. Above all else, Terry loved the Lord, and this showed in every aspect of her life. She was a wonderful daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, niece, cousin, teacher and friend who will be greatly missed.
She is predeceased by her father, Robert Clifford Burns; maternal grandparents, Elizabeth (Baldwin) and Edward Cecil Bruce; and paternal grandparents, Frances (Postell) and Allen Augustine Burns.
Terry is survived by her mother, Beverly (Bruce) Burns; loving children, Adam Ross Younce, Melody Rose (Jared) Barber and Aletha Smith (Bo) Mann; her grandchildren, Magnolia and Huckleberry “Huck” Mann; her siblings, Leigh Lane (Doug), Robert C. “Rob” Burns Jr., and William “Bill” Burns; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
The celebration of Terry’s life will be held at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Christian Renewal Church, 6530 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island, Ga. She asked that all attendees refrain from wearing black or predominately dark colors, if possible.