BOARDMAN, Ohio – Family members had the chance to say their final goodbyes to their loved one, Robert Terrence Burns, a longtime Boardman resident, before he passed away on Tuesday, August 1 at the age of 97. A World War II veteran, Bob devoted himself to his country, his faith, and his family.
After a decade apart, Bob is being reunited with his soulmate, Evelyn. The couple enjoyed a fulfilling life for nearly 60 years of marriage before Evelyn’s passing in 2006.
Bob was born in Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania and though Evelyn came from a nearby small town, it wasn’t until they both moved to Youngstown that they found one each other and fell in love. They enjoyed their first date at Avalon Gardens in September of 1947 and after a brief courtship, got married at St. Edward’s Church on April 3, 1948.
Bob began his career with Youngstown Sheet & Tube before being drafted to serve in the Army in World War II. After basic training, Bob boarded the massive Queen Mary to set sail for Europe in June of 1944. He served in the Seventh Armored Division under Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. The Division is credited with liberating 150 European cities in the Battle of the Bulge. Bob was awarded the Purple Heart medal after being injured when his tank came under fire. Only two of the five soldiers in his tank survived. He also received a good conduct ribbon and a European African Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon with four bronze stars.
Bob’s service was important throughout his life. In May 2005, he returned with his family to the site where the 7AD once trained at the former Camp Coxcomb in California. A plaque now stands in its place. In 2011, he sat down with his grandchildren and shared countless stories and photos from the war, so they could capture and record his memories in a family book for generations to come. Bob and Evelyn traveled around the country attending dozens of Army reunions over the years.
After the war, Bob went to work for the U.S. Post Office, retiring in August of 1979.
Bob led an active life in retirement, helping to raise his grandchildren, walking every morning as one of the original “mall walkers” at the Southern Park Mall and enjoying coffee and conversation with friends afterwards at McDonalds. An avid sports fan, he enjoyed cheering for his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers and Boston Red Sox.
Bob leaves his only daughter, Patti McGovern (husband Frank); grandchildren, Bob McGovern (fiancée Kerry Flynn) and Mollie Hartup (husband Bret) and great-grandchildren, Caden Hartup and Rowan Hartup, all of Youngstown. Bob delighted in talking with the young boys and hearing them call him “Papa.”
Bob’s parents, James Michael Burns and Margaret Elizabeth Flanigan, preceded him in death.
Friends may call an hour before a funeral mass (9:30 – 10:30 a.m.), which will be held Monday, August 7 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Christine Church in Youngstown.
His family wants to thank Buckeye Hospice for their kindness and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Buckeye Hospice and Home Care, 810 Boardman-Canfield Road, Boardman, Ohio, 44512, in memory of Bob Burns.
Arrangements handled by Fox Funeral Home.
A television tribute will air Thursday, August 3 at the following approximate times:
6:41 a.m. WYTV and 8:41 a.m. MyYTV and 9:58 a.m. on FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.