Donald W Burns passed away on February 17, 2023. He was 95. He was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Matthew Burns and Agnes Burns (Peterson), one of ten children.
He graduated from Burghard High School and served in the US Navy during World War II. He met his loving wife and lifelong partner Alice Burns (1926-2022) in Buffalo. They met at the Crystal Beach ballroom. His story about how he took a chance and asked her to dance is one that his family never tired of hearing. They had four children - Deborah Burns Bernier (1950-2003), David Burns (Rebecca) (1952-2017), Mary Burns (Bob Murphy) and Kathy Schrecongost (Dan Schrecongost).
He studied electrical engineering at The University of Buffalo and eventually graduated from The University of Rochester with an engineering degree. He had a long career in engineering-working for several companies - Stromberg-Carlson, Sperry, Ridge Electronics, and Webster Plastics among others. He had an engineer’s mind and was always very interested in how things work.
He had several hobbies that kept him busy-rifle shooting, radio controlled airplane model building and flying, and gardening to name a few. He loved to play bridge. He was a voracious reader in retirement, picking up Western classic literature, reading most of Dickens and always enjoyed talking about books. He especially enjoyed reading about the art of writing.
He was a lifelong Catholic who found much solace in his faith. He was thrilled to visit churches and cathedrals on the several cruises he and Alice took in retirement, as well as all the sights, sounds and tastes of those faraway places.
He and Alice raised their family first in Buffalo, then Rochester, and also in Charlottesville, VA. He and Alice retired to Bradenton, Florida where they had many happy years. He coaxed rose blooms and more to put on his and Alice’s breakfast table, and plucked grapefruit and oranges from their yard. They generously and eagerly entertained family and friends escaping northern winters.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife Alice, daughter Deborah and son David. He took much interest and joy in his surviving grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He faced every day with optimism and an incredible positive spirit that was unique. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.