Skip to main content
Throughout his career, Barry Burns served as an integral link between emerging medical imaging technology changes and the clinical implementation of the technology. He was nationally and internationally recognized for his work with breast imaging and a staunch advocate for reduced patient radiation doses while improving image quality.
Charles Barry Burns at a Fujifilm equipment dedication event in 2007.
Charles Barry Burns at a Fujifilm equipment dedication event in 2007.

Charles Barry Burns, 73, passed peacefully surrounded by his family on December 4, 2015. Barry was born on November 16, 1942 in Durham, N.C. He grew up in Chatham County and was a lifelong resident of Chapel Hill after marriage.

Barry was a proud Tar Heel and received his Bachelors in Radiologic Science from UNC as well as his Masters of Science. He was board certified in diagnostic radiologic physics and worked for UNC for over 45 years, retiring in 2008. He was a passionate professor whose students called on him for expertise and advice long after graduation, with many becoming lifelong friends with him. Barry was described as a walking textbook by students and professionals because of his ability to recall information and share knowledge freely.

Barry was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by the N.C. Governor in 2010 for his service on the N.C. Radiation Protection Commission for 23 years. He was also an active member of the North Carolina Society of Radiologic Technologists (NCSRT) where he held a number of offices, including President, and was honored as Life Member in 1989. He served on an FDA Advisory Panel, was a Delegate to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, co-authored over 20 publications, and taught throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Later in his career, he participated in multiple research projects to enhance imaging to detect breast cancer. His expertise and constant strive for improvement in mammography screening resulted in better results worldwide for women.

Work alone did not occupy his time; he was an avid hunter, outdoorsman and expert marksman. An incredible cook and entertainer who loved to share his cooking as much as he liked to cook – everything from gourmet to simple. He knew the best restaurants in every community and was a foodie before the term was popular.

Barry is survived by his wife, Anne, to whom he was married for 52 years. He is also survived by his children, Robert and partner Cris Hamer of Alexandria, VA and Karen Burns Grogan and husband Dennis of Dacula, G.A.; two granddaughters Madison and Emily Grogan; one sister Candace Burns Burke of Pittsboro; brother-in-law Phil Poythress of Chapel Hill; and niece Jessica Poythress of Siler City.

The family wishes to thank the outstanding team from Seasons at Southpoint for the thoughtful and attentive care, love and support they showed Anne and Barry as Alzheimer’s ravaged his mind. The family also wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers from Hospice & Palliative Care Center of Alamance-Caswell who were dedicated to Barry’s care.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 16, 2016, at Damascus Congregational Christian Church, 522 Damascus Church Rd., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27516 to celebrate Barry’s life. A meal will occur after the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions in honor of Charles Barry Burns be made to The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc. Contributions to the Radiologic Science Advancement Fund will be directed by his family to benefit students in the UNC-CH Division of Radiologic Science.

Please mail memorials to: Professor Joy Renner, UNC Division of Radiologic Science, CB # 7130, Suite 3050 Bondurant, 321-A South Columbia Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7130.

Submitted by the Burns family

Condolences can be directed hereMore information is available here.