Louis F. Burns 1920-2012
May 22, 2012

Louis Burns ("Hu-lah Ki-he-kah")
      We are remembering a great friend to the Osage people, renowned author and lecturer, Louis F. Burns, who passed on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at his home in Pawhuska. He was 92 years young.

      Mr. Burns was born January 2, 1920 at Elgin, Kansas, the son of Robert Lee and Bessie (Tinker) Burns. Raised on a cattle ranch in the Osage Nation, he was one-eighth Osage/Kansas Indian. In 1945, he married the former Ruth Blake. At the time of her death in 2006, the Burns had been married for sixty-one years.

      Mr. Burns was a member of the Osage Mottled Eagle clan, named Hulah Kihekah (Eagle Chief), and member of the I'n-Lon-Schka Society. He was Knighted by Campanions of l'Hippocras (Chevalier de l'Hippocras du Therme). Mr. Burns is listed in the 27th edition of Marquis, Who's Who in the West, the 19th edition of Marquis, Who's Who in the World, and forthcoming Who's Who in America. He is also listed in the British International Men of Achievement, Dictionary of International Biography, and 2,000 Outstanding Scholars of the Twentieth Century. In 2002, Mr. Burns was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame.

      A graduate of Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Louis received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Kansas State University at Emporia, Kansas, as well as his Graduate Fellow in Geography. He also completed some of his Doctoral work at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Over the years, Mr. Burns worked for Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California and Beech Aircraft, Wichita, Kansas. He taught at Shawnee Mission High School in Mission, Kansas as well as high schools in the Santa Ana, California area. Louis was later a college instructor in Geography, U.S. Western History and U.S. History at Kansas State University, Emporia and Santiago Community College, Santa Ana.

      A published author, Mr. Burns had thirteen books written on Osage subjects; was editor of two professional educational newsletters, had two articles published in the Chronicles of Oklahoma, and served as a feature writer for the Osage Nation News and Inside Osage. Louis had papers presented in 1989, 1992, 1997 and 1999 at the Plains Indian Seminar held at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming. He was published in The Artist and the Missionary, "Missionaries, Fur Traders, and Osage Ribbon Work." Two papers were presented at the Missouri Valley Historical Society conference at Omaha in 1996, and at the Oklahoma Historical Society Annual Meetings in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. Louis was very proud of his research work on the Osage Tribe and the publishing of his work. He enjoyed mentoring other researchers in the same fields.

      A United States Veteran, Mr. Burns served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II in the South and Central Pacific campaigns.

      Surviving are his children Keith Burns of Texarkana, TX and Alice Thomas of St. Louis, MO, along with a host of other family and friends.

      Graveside services were held Tuesday, May 22, 11 a.m., at the Pawhuska City Cemetery. Mongrain Lookout officiated. Graveside military honors were performed by the American Legion and VFW. Interment followed.

McCartney's Johnson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
(Courtesy Pawhuska Journal-Capital)