Thomas Joseph Burns
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on Jun. 20, 1946
Departed on Jul. 22, 2008 and resided in Middletown, RI.
Service: Monday, Jul. 28, 2008
Middletown, RI – Middletown High School Math Teacher and Retired Senior Msgt. Thomas "Tom" Joseph Burns, 62, passed away Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence.
He was the loving husband of Susanne "Sue" (Allenby) Burns. Married on July 20, 1968, in Redlands, California, they recently shared their 40th anniversary. He was the loving father of three daughters, Kelly, Liz, and Lindsey.
Tom was born in Boston, MA on June 20, 1946; he was the son of the late Leo V.Burns and Kathleen (Quinn) Burns, and brother to Leo Burns Jr., Paul Burns, and Peter Burns. Growing up in both Dorchester and Canton, MA, Tom was surrounded by many cousins, grandparents, and relatives during his childhood. He spent much of his youth involved in sports. He participated in Little League Baseball, and especially loved CYO Ice Hockey. He also spent many days working as a caddy and in the pro-shop at the local golf course alongside his brothers.
Tom attended Boston College High School, graduating in 1964. At age 18, he then enlisted in the United States Air Force where he began his 20 year military career allowing him to enjoy his love of travel and his commitment to serving his country. Tom served his country during the Vietnam War. One of his proudest moments was his participation in "Operation Homecoming" on March 16, 1973, bringing home American POW's from Hanoi. He was highly decorated during his military career; however his most notable award was the Meritorious Service Medal for risking his own life in order to rescue a fellow soldier from a burning building.
Tom retired in 1984, at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. He enrolled in college at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, with Departmental Honors in Social Science, in 1988. He began teaching math at Chaparral Jr. High and then Alamogordo High School, in Alamogordo, NM. Besides teaching Math, Tom was a well respected football, cross country, and track coach. Moving to Newport, RI in 2001, he continued his teaching and coaching career.
Tom enjoyed the simple things in life, most of all spending time with his family. He enjoyed a good cup of coffee, a crossword puzzle, a Red Sox game, and a sunny day at the beach.
In addition to his wife Sue, Tom leaves three loving daughters, Kelly and husband Davie Salas of Las Cruces, NM, Elizabeth and husband Jim Diesing of Portland, OR and Lindsey and husband Steven Montoya of Socorro, NM; five adoring grandchildren Sydney, Thomas, Kyle, Emma, and Megan; brothers Leo Burns, Jr. and wife Liz of Rome, NY, Paul Burns of Brownfield, ME and Peter Burns of Quincy, MA; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins who held a special place in his heart; and his Alamogordo and Middletown High School family and friends who shared his fun-loving spirit and were always there for him.
A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, July 28, 2008, at 9:00am, at St. Lucy's Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown, RI. A reception will follow at the Parish Hall. Private burial will be held for the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tom Burns Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Bank of Newport, attn: Mary Beth Manuel, PO Box 450, Middletown, RI 02842, which will benefit graduating Middletown High School students.