James Kevin Burns

  • Born: March 27, 1937
  • Died: December 21, 2020
  • Location: Easton, Massachusetts

Kane Funeral Home & Cremation Services

605 Washington St
PO Box 34
Easton, MA 02375

easton-fh@comcast.net
Tel. (508) 238-4269

Tribute & Message From The Family


EASTON----James Kevin Burns, known as Kevin, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on December 21, 2020. He was 83 years old. Born in Newton, MA, he served his country as a Marine, his town as an Easton Firefighter and EMT, his church as founding member of Holy Cross Church, and his family as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle.

Kevin was a 1984 graduate of Boston State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Science.

Kevin was the son of 1929 Irish immigrants, James Peter Burns (County Claire), and Margaret Cunningham Burns (County Roscommon), both immigrants from the Irish Free Republic, as known then.

Kevin blazed an independent path, by-passing some of the latter-required high school grades, proceeding directly to the U.S. Marines from 1954-1957, with service that included shipboard duty in the Mediterranean Sea, ashore in Algeria, and during the late 1950's "Lebanon Crisis".

A specific example of Kevin's unwavering moral compass occurred during a 1950's Marine off-duty episode at a North Carolina civilian diner where Kevin was invited to dine, but his buddy, a fellow-Marine non-commissioned officer who happened to be African-American, was declined service due to his race. Kevin declined his service. He and his fellow-Marine NCO departed together, both unnourished.

As a Charlestown, MA "Townie", Kevin retuned to Charlestown after his Marine Corps service, working as a tractor-trailer driver for H.P. Hood Co. milk company from 1958-1969, later transitioning to a 20-year career in the Easton, MA fire department, retiring in Nov 1998.

Family was everything to Kevin. His happiest times were taking impromptu visits, with his kids in tow, to visit the Mortimer's in Charlestown, the Livingston's in Somerville, the Cullity's in South Boston, the Burke's in Hyde Park, and the Burke's of Hopkinton. Everyone was so happy to see Kevin coming and sad to see him go. His bright smile was infectious.

Kevin is predeceased by his sister Attracta Burns, his one-year old daughter Kathleen, and leaves behind his beloved and devoted wife of 61 years Dorothy Burns, Dorothy's sister-cousin Florence Burke, as well as: son Shawn Burns and Elizabeth Casella; daughter, Sheila (Burns) Canning and her husband Joseph Canning, life-long friend and family-member Jane Ellen Crapo; son Kevin T. Burns and his wife Robin Burns; and daughter Mary-Beth (Burns) Pierce, and her husband Kevin Pierce.

Kevin also leaves behind 10 beloved grandchildren and a great-grandchild including: Brendan Burns of Washington, DC; Katie Burns of Philadelphia, PA and her fiancé Patrick O'Donnell of Newport, RI; Colleen Canning of Belchertown, MA; Patrick Canning of Somerville, MA; Sean Canning of Stoughton, MA; Kevin D. Burns and Julieanne Benvie of Bridgewater, MA; Adam Burns of West Roxbury, MA; John and Caitlin Pierce, of Greenville, RI; and great-granddaughter Isabella Burns.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. requiring mask & social distancing in the Holy Cross Church, 225 Purchase Street, Easton. A funeral mass requiring mask & social distancing will be held on Monday at 11:00 a.m. in the Holy Cross Church. Interment with military honors will follow in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Easton.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Cross Church, https://giving.parishsoft.com/App/Giving/holycrosschurch .

Arrangements are by Kane Funeral Home, South Easton, MA. To share memories and on-line tributes, please visit www.kanefuneralhome.com .