Wednesday, June 20, 2001

ANN WALKER BURNS / 1926-2001

Love for plants,
animals inspired
all around her

Pediatrics expert Bass
More obituaries

By Rosemarie Bernardo

Pamela Burns says her mother, Ann Walker Burns, passed on an innate curiosity for plants to the children.

"She gave me a huge appreciation of flowers. That's really a wonderful gift," Pamela Burns said.

Burns, 76, died Saturday morning in her Tantalus home. She was born in Nuuanu on May 13, 1926. She married Frank Burns, a sugar plantation executive for Amfac, at St. Andrew's Cathedral in 1947.

She attended Ethel Walker School in Connecticut and Vassar College. She was a daughter of the late H. Alexander Walker, a chief executive officer of Amfac.

With azaleas flourishing in her back yard, Burns' admiration for plants led her to work with the director of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. During her trips to Asia, she would bring back plant specimens to the botanical garden.

"My mother was quite an original woman," said Pamela, remembering the time her siblings and her mother would hold up flashcards to learn the Latin and botanical names of various plants.

Along with her appreciation for plants, Burns adored animals.

"Growing up, we had a lot of cats, dogs, fish, horses, ducks and chickens," said Pamela. "People would leave their cats and dogs at her house because they know she would take care of them," she said.

She had a real soft spot, Pamela said.

Burns is survived by her four children -- Cecelia, Caleb, Peter and Pamela -- seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Friday at Oahu Cemetery, 2162 Nuuanu Ave., at 10 a.m. Flowers are accepted. Donations can be made to the Hawaiian Humane Society or the Friends of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens.

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