History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
Burns Funeral Home has been serving families
in Northwest Indiana since 1908. We are a fourth generation,
family-owned funeral home with two locations from which to serve you.
We believe that there is no "right" or "wrong" way to memorialize a loved one. Treating families the way we would like to be treated has been our philosophy for over 100 years.
Burns Funeral Home & Crematory was founded in 1908 by James Edward Burns. Teddy Roosevelt was in the Oval office and Henry Ford had just launched the Model T. James began in Hammond in a storefront on State St. The second generation, Edward J. Burns, relocated to Gary, IN in 1932, as northwest Indiana flourished with the growth of a young steel industry that would fuel the region’s economic growth. He next opened in the Glen Park section of Gary in 1972 and operated from there until 1985. Feeling the need for expansion E. J. Burns and his sons, Terry and Jim, purchased their current Hobart location in 1975. They also moved south and built a new building with a crematory in Crown Point in 1985, becoming northwest Indiana’s first funeral home with a crematory on the premises. In the spring of 2007, the Burns Family opened Burns Pets Remembered, the area’s first Pet Crematory/Pet Cemetery. This had been a dream of Jim Burns’s for 10 years before becoming a reality. The community response to his dream has been just what he’d hoped it would be. People are so thankful that their beloved pets can be cared for locally and with utmost dignity and respect. The Burns family takes tremendous pride in remaining a private family-owned funeral home. The funeral home is currently managed by Jim and Sally Burns, their son Jim Jr., and their nephew Patrick.
Our Valued Staff
James F. Burns, Owner/Funeral Director
Jim was born and raised in Gary. He is the President of Burns Funeral Home. The son of Edward and Genevieve, he is the third generation to enter the Burns family business. He is a graduate of Andrean High School, class of 1969. He continued his education at Colorado State University where studied business management. Jim graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1974 and has been a licensed funeral director since 1975. He is married to Sally (nee Schleicher) and has 3 children and 7 grandchildren. He is a member of St. Bridget Church in Hobart, the Knights of Columbus, St. Thomas Council and Serra Club. He is presently a member and past president of both Hobart and Merrillville Kiwanis clubs, Hobart Phi Delts, Hobart Elks Club, the Winfield Chamber of Commerce, the Lake County Courthouse Foundation, Gary Old Timers Board of Directors, Gary Sportsman Club, Center for Possibilities and Innsbrook Country Club. Jim has served as President of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, and was also a member of both Merrillville and Hobart Rotary Clubs He enjoys golf, water sports and snow skiing
Sally Burns, Pre-need Consultant/Pet Loss Director
Sally was born in Gary and raised in Miller and Merrillville. She and Jim have been married since 1976. Sally graduated from Merrillville High School in 1969 and received her bachelor of science in education at Indiana State University. Sally is a preplanning consultant and the primary pet loss director at Burns Pets Remembered. She is a member of St. Bridget Church and former member of Phi Beta Psi Sorority. She enjoys helping others and spending time with her family. She and Jim have resided in Hobart for over 30 years and have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
James E. Burns, Vice-President/Funeral Director
Jim was born in Crown Point and raised in Hobart. He is the son of Jim and Sally Burns and a 4th generation funeral director. Jim graduated from Hobart High School in 1998. He received his bachelor of science in business management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 2003. He attended Ivy Tech State College where he received his associate of applied science in mortuary science in 2005 and was a member of the program’s first graduating class. Upon graduation, Jim served as an instructor at Ivy Tech, teaching both Introduction to Funeral Service and Grief Psychology courses, as well as assisting with embalming practicum. He has been a licensed funeral director/embalmer since 2006. He is a member of the Indiana Funeral Director’s Association, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, the Friendly Sons of Erin, Chicago Health and Fitness, and the Innsbrook Country Club Men’s Golf League. Jim resides in Crown Point and has a son, Caden and daughter, Kaia. He enjoys golfing, waterskiing, and most of all, spending time with his family and friends.
Patrick Burns, Vice-President
Patrick was born in Oak Park, IL and raised in Valparaiso. He is the son of Terrence, the former president of Burns Funeral Home who passed away in 2009, and Mary Beth Burns. Patrick is a graduate of Valparaiso High School’s Class of 1990. He has been involved in the funeral business since he was twelve years old. Patrick is a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, The Friendly Sons of Erin, and The Knights of Columbus. He enjoys riding motorcycles, boating, and snowmobiling. Patrick, his wife Heather, and their sons Ryan and Hayden, make their home in Valparaiso.
Kimberly Gallagher, Funeral Director/ Cosmetologist
Kim was born and raised in Hobart. She graduated from Hobart High School in 1991 and received her cosmetology license from Creative Hairstyling Academy in 1992. She began working as a hairstylist at Burns Funeral Home in 2005. Kim attended Ivy Tech State College where she received her associate of applied science in mortuary science degree in 2012. She became a licensed funeral director in November of 2013. She is a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Kim and her 2 children, Sydney and Sam, reside in Hobart.
Kathy Vignolo, Administrative Assistant
Kathy was born in Miller and raised in Merrillville. She graduated from Merrillville High School in 1970 and received her bachelor of science in Education at Indiana University. Kathy is an administrative assistant at the Crown Point location. She has resided in The Lakes of the Four Seasons for over 35 years where she raised her two sons, Brandon and Blake. Kathy has one grandson and a granddaughter. Kathy enjoys doing crafts and being with her family.
Janice Rimer, Administrative Assistant - Retired 3/13/2015
Janice was born in Gary and raised in Merrillville. She graduated from Merrillville High School in 1963. Janice and her husband, Bill, reside in Crown Point. She was part of the Burns Funeral Home family for 15 years. Janice is a member of the Gary Sportsman’s Club. She enjoys reading, camping, and spending time with her 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren. We will miss her!
James Edward Burns, Founder/ Owner
In Loving Memory
Edward James Burns, Owner/ Funeral Director
In Loving Memory
Terrence P. Burns, Owner/ Funeral Director
In Loving Memory
Arlene Harder, Preplanning Consultant/Video Specialist
Kathy Farmer, Administrative Assistant
Connie A Schleicher, Administrative Assistant
Regis McMahon, Funeral Assistant
Mori Piscione, Preneed Specialist/Family Service
Mori has been involved in the funeral business for over eight years. She is a graduate of Hobart High School and attended Purdue University. She, her husband Eric, and their soon-to-be baby live in Crown Point.