The Times West Virginian


October 25, 2012

Deborah Burns

Deborah I. (LaRosa) Burns, 56, of Jackson Avenue, Clarksburg, passed away peacefully Saturday (Oct. 20, 2012) at her home following an extended illness.

She was born in Oakland, Md., on March 4, 1956, to Ernest A. LaRosa of Clarksburg and the late Juanita (Ringer) LaRosa.

She is survived by her husband of 33 years, James P. Burns IV; her three children, James P. “J.P.” Burns V and wife Ashley of Grafton, David M. Burns of Fort Myers, Fla., and Maryrose J. Burns who attends college at USC Sumter in Sumter, S.C.; one brother, David P. LaRosa of Fort Myers, Fla.; mother-in-law, Joan Burns of Fairmont; and many brothers and sisters-in-law of her husband’s family.

Debbie graduated from Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg with the Class of 1974 and from Fairmont State College with the Class of 1978 where she received a degree in education. She taught at Grafton High School, and Eastbrook High School, Marion, Ind., before her health problems forced her retirement to become a full-time mother and homemaker.

She loved teaching and working with students, and even after her health would not allow her to teach, she was a constant presence at her children’s schools, helping plan and conduct events to enrich their school years. Her greatest pleasure was making school events a special moment for her students and making sure that everyone had a great time. She was recently honored as an “Irish Legend” by the Harrison County Catholic Schools for her lifetime work in education and service to Notre Dame High School.

She was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish of Clarksburg, and has donated her body to the Human Gift Registry of West Virginia University.

Her family would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and staff at UHC who have cared for her these past two years; Care Partners Home Health, Dr. Mike Angotti and her two home caregivers, Shelly and Margret, for all their help and caring.

Memorial Mass will be held in her honor at Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish in Clarksburg at 11 a.m. Friday with Father Casey B. Mahone presiding.

The family has entrusted Donald G. Ford Funeral Home in Grafton with the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Deborah’s name to Notre Dame High School, 127 E. Pike St., Clarksburg, WV 26301 (304-623-1026).

Online condolences may be made at

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