WESTON, W.Va. – After many years of work for the late Dr. Charles Lively, followed by 20 years at Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, Linda Harper Burns retired on Thursday, January 2 from Lively Healthcare in Jane Lew. Though retiring from her career in healthcare, she and her husband will continue to run the family farm on Route 33, east of Weston.
She is the daughter of the late Richard O. and Doris Peterson Harper. She and her husband Larry have two children. The couple’s son Ryan and wife Julie are the parents of two children – Wyatt, 14 and Sara, 12. Their daughter, Laura Dever, and husband Jamie have three children – Tate, 16, Hope, 13 and Cy, 6. Linda also has a beautiful standard poodle, Louise.
She noted that Larry is a retired bus driver for special needs children, but the couple has had a long love of life on a farm. As a matter of fact, Linda met her husband at a horse show.
“Actually, I skipped my senior year at Lewis County High School and went to Stephens College in Columbia, MS, because they offered equestrian studies and I took classes in marketing and design,” Burns explained. “I wanted to have a tack shop and make tailored riding clothes but instead we married and opened the Meadowview Stables. We had as many as 50 horses there at one time.”
The couple had a different lifestyle with her husband shoeing the horses, and spending many weeks on the road at horse shows and living in an RV.
Burns noted that for 15 years the couple worked the farm, but in 1991 she chose to begin work at Dr. Lively’s office along with Donna Brooks, Roberta Lamb and eventually Rachel Brown. Just as Dr. Lively was a “medical staple” in Lewis County, his office staff hardly changed over the latter part of his practice.
“He treated us so well,” Burns said. “He loved the holidays and would decorate everything. He was so nice and was always buying gifts for us from Minnich Florists. He even did his own shopping – even at Christmas.”
Dr. Lively practiced for 50 years and sold his practice to SJMH in 1997. He retired in the of Spring 2006 and died in December 2006.
“As a small office there was so much for all of us to do, and Dr. Lively’s dog would come with him to work,” Burns explained. “When Dr. Lively had a serious accident his first thought was who could take care of his Cairn Terrier, Vince,” she said.
Burns noted that much of her job at Dr. Lively’s office was paper-oriented. “There was a lot of paperwork involved whether paying bills or doing payroll, all before electronic medical records were implemented,” Burns said.
Burns most recently worked at Lively Healthcare as a referral coordinator. As a referral coordinator, Burns ensured all referrals were sent to the correct specialty and scheduled patients for procedures at SJMH. “I made sure that processes were authorized and that patients were prepared properly for procedures,” Burns added.
Over the years, Linda and Larry have had horses, goats and currently have a special breed of sheep – Katahdin – on their 98-acre farm. “I may be retiring, but as you can understand there is still lot for me to do at our farm,” Burns concluded.