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

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 .


Condolence & Memory Journal

Kevin, Shawn and the Burns Family, I was sad to learn of Mr Burns' passing. I have fond memories of him giving me a hard time about being a Sailor whenever I would run into him at church while home on leave. He would always fill me in on what all of you were up to. May God give you comfort at this difficult time.

Posted by Jim Kippenhan - Norfolk, VA   December 30, 2020

So sorry I didn't get to say goodbye Uncle Kevin you were the best uncle I will always remember you and Aunt Dottie dancing away on the dance floor

Posted by Donna Conceicao - Somerville, MA - Family   December 29, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss My childhood is filled with memories of "Mr. Burns" He was a good man and will be missed.
Bob Leonard

Posted by robert leonard - Joliet, IL   December 27, 2020

Dottie and family,

So sorry to hear about Kevin. He was a great guy and an old friend and always made me smile . he will be missed


Posted by Patricia leonard - south easton, MA - Neighbor   December 27, 2020

Dear Robin and family,
I am so sorry for your loss.
Sue O’Brien

Posted by Sue o’Brien - Friend   December 27, 2020

Dottie and Family, I'm sending our deepest condolences to you in this time. I'm so sorry to hear of Kevin's passing. Know that I would be there if I could. I'll be there spiritually instead. I'll have a Mass said here for Kevin and all of you. Please know I'm thinking about you.

Posted by Chris Rossi - Kingman, AZ - Friend   December 26, 2020

Mary Beth - I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. He must have been a wonderful man! What a wonderful obituary.... I see the resemblance in his marine picture, to your son John. May you and your family be comforted by the many prayers heading in your direction... And the loving thoughts for your comfort and peace. Godspeed

Posted by Jill Larsen - Smithfield, RI - Friend   December 26, 2020

Kevin always had a smile and kind words for you. S

o sorry to hear about his passing, he will be missed by many.

Cherish the memories that Kevin left with you. . .

Posted by Joe Kennedy - West Bridgewater, MA - Acquaintance   December 26, 2020

Dottie and family
Sorry for your loss. I will always remember Kevin as a happy guy with a smile for everyone, always ready to give a helping hand and a great work buddy of my late husband, Paul. I'm sure Paul was there to greet him. God bless you all for taking such good care of him in his last days.

Pat Brophy-Signori

Posted by :Pat Brophy-Signori - South Easton, MA - Neighbor   December 26, 2020

I'm so very sorry for your loss! Thinking of your family during this difficult time!

Posted by Brianna Larsen - Smithfield, RI   December 26, 2020

Dear Dot,
Kevin was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. And he married an angel. He is surely enjoying his new life in Heaven. God bless you, Dot.
All my love, Mary Welch

Posted by Mary Welch - Easton, MA - Friend   December 26, 2020

When buying my first home, never thought that I would have the pleasure to buy across the street from Kevin and Dottie. Over the years I treasured the visits as the 'man in the cowpie hat' strolled across the street to talk of his days driving truck for Hood's and then moving to his dismay with politics.Dottie didn't have to look far when he disappeared. I have lost a great friend and neighbor. I grew up going to the Eastondale School with Shawn and Sheila, and visited the warm Burns home as a child . Words alone cannot express my sorrow for this great loss. He is now at peace.

Posted by Bob Mielde - Eastondale, MA - Neighbor   December 26, 2020

Thank You uncle for all the happy memories that you brought our way. we will miss you and your humor. Say Hi to all our relatives up there in heaven with you. What a party you will have with them. I know that you will be watching out for us and will be a guardian angel to our family. Love Patty Awbrey and family

Posted by Patricia Awbrey - Stoneham, MA - Family   December 24, 2020