Robert Burns, 1935-2019

Robert Edward Burns, the son of Robert L. and Dorothy H. Burns, was born on Oct. 27, 1935, in Utica, New York, and passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. He lived in eight states before moving to LaPorte in 1960 after graduating from Blackburn College and the University of Illinois and completing service in the United States Army.

He is survived by his wife, Jean, of 61 years; his son, Christopher (Cynthia) Burns of Jacksonville, Florida, and their three children, Casey, and twins Chelsea and Celeste; his daughter, Ellen (Drew) Talbott and their three sons Matthew (Melissa), Nicholas (Alexandra), and Adam.

Bob had great love for and took great pride in both his children and grandchildren. His friends and family will remember him as a kind, loving, gracious, positive husband, parent, grandparent, and friend. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Judith and brothers-in-law, Jack and Jerry Eisenbarth.

He began teaching in the LaPorte Community School Corporation in the fall of 1960 and enjoyed a forty-year career as a junior and senior high teacher of Social Studies, English and Driver Education. He retired in 2000. For a number of years he coached junior high athletic teams and officiated a variety of athletic events.

Both before and after his retirement he was an enthusiastic volunteer and tutor and played an active role in church and community organizations. He volunteered at the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum and at LaPorte Hospital, and served as a mentor at Handley Elementary School. He was a volunteer at the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum and served on the LaPorte County Historical Society Board of Directors, was a member of the LaPorte County Public Library Board for sixteen years, was a board member and officer of the Friends of the Library, and was a member of the LaPorte Hospital Auxiliary.

Bob loved listening to music, reading, traveling, rooting for the Cubs (since 1945), gardening, attending grandchildren’s activities, enjoying Chicago and Stratford theater and local cultural activities, and being an active member of the community. Since 1960 he had been a faithful member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in LaPorte, serving as warden and vestryman, usher, and community meal volunteer.

A funeral services will be held Saturday, January 26, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1000 Michigan Ave. LaPorte. The family will welcome visitors at the church prior to the service from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel, LaPorte, is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. Paul’s or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Messages of condolence may be posted below on WNLP as well as at www.esslingfuneralhome.com.

14 Responses to “Robert Burns, 1935-2019”

  1. Andrew Serafin

    Jan 18. 2019

    Sorry to hear of his passing He was a great colleague on the LaPorte County Library Board for many years. Rest In Peace

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  2. Mark Kendall

    Jan 18. 2019

    Bob was a good guy, I enjoyed his company

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  3. Mike and Joyce Gillock

    Jan 18. 2019

    So very sorry about this loss to our entire community. He will be missed!

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  4. Jan Bormann Weiss

    Jan 18. 2019

    Mr.Burns was one of my favorite teachers.
    He was so patient and kind to all his students. Always a warm smile on his face, back then, and throughout the years I would bump into him around town.
    He helped me so much with my morale, by appointing me his “tab book” secretary. A job all the kids wanted. Mr. Burns knew I needed it and I hope he knew how much his gesture helped me. He was just that kind of man. Very intuitive to his students needs. Our town was so blessed that Bob Burns decided to settle here. I know I was blessed to have him as a teacher.
    I’ll miss you Teach…Jannie

    .

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  5. Steve Leliter

    Jan 19. 2019

    Wonderful family. Bob was a wonderful man, and he will be missed by many.

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  6. Bryan Tilling

    Jan 19. 2019

    “Mr Burns”….As he was know to us kids at school in the mid 70’s, was a very nice, even handed spirited person, to myself and fellow classmates at Kesling Jr. High School. I enjoyed his class and still quote one of his phrases regarding typing errors. They were always caused by “stone fingers,” he would say. I use that quote referring to my typing errors, quite often. Sorry for your loss to all the family and friends that had the pleasure to know Mr. Burns.

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  7. Max E Miller

    Jan 19. 2019

    An honor and a pleasure to work with him on many different platforms

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  8. Bill Gangwer

    Jan 21. 2019

    Bob (among other educators) will be the reason for my getting into teaching/coaching. I was very fortunate to have Bob as a teacher and DE coordinator. His calm steadfast demeanor always made me feel good about the student/person I was becoming. Always a smile and an extended hand every time we would see each other. Great family, great educator and a great man. You gave me an example of how to be a true “gentleman”

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  9. Fr. Jamie Jones

    Jan 21. 2019

    Bob was leader of St. Paul’s Church in so many ways during my time there as rector. Karen and I send our condolences to Jean and her entire family. Bob will be remembered, this Sunday, by name, in the Prayer of the People at St. Matthew Church, Miami.

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  10. Richard Reel

    Jan 21. 2019

    Only knew Bob through his involvement in many community programs. When we ran into each other we always talked about what each of us were doing. Very pleasant person and enjoyed our visits.

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  11. Jody Passafume

    Jan 25. 2019

    Prayers for you, Jean, and your family. Always enjoyed Bob’s company during our Stratford trips. Not sure how I got all the way through LPHS without having him as a teacher! But I know all of his students spoke highly of him and that is no surprise. Peace.

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  12. Jennifer Tracey-Schuster

    Jan 29. 2019

    My prayers go out for Mrs Burns and their family! English was my favorite subject in high school and I was lucky enough to have both at one time or another. They were some of my favorite people! I can’t imagine how many lives he has blessed over the years with his teaching and community service. Rest in Peace Mr. Burns!

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  13. Jackie Vermilyer

    Jan 29. 2019

    I am so sorry for your loss. He was one of my favorite teachers. I was a 70’s student. So pleasant and always smiling. .He with be missed. Jackie Vermilyer

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  14. Jeff Hunter

    Feb 03. 2019

    Ellen and Chris, I am sorry for your loss. He was among the best. A great man.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff Hunter

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