George E. Burns

Time of Service:

VISITATION: Riverside Memorial Chapel Monday, September 28 2015 from 6-9pm with Sung Vespers and Remembrances 7:30pm

Place of Service:

SERVICE: Holy Name of Jesus R.C.Church, West 96 Street and Amsterdam Avenue, NY, NY 10024 Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 10:30am

Burial Location:

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 11:30 at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
George Burns, 86, died on September 23, 2015, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. The son of Kathleen Lally and George Burns, he was born May 31, 1929, in Washington, DC. His early years were spent in Scranton, PA. When the family moved to Washington, DC, he began his Jesuit education – first at Gonzaga High School and then at Georgetown University. He always knew he wanted to be a writer and he was the Editor of both his high school paper as well as the Georgetown Hoya. After graduation he served as a Public Information Officer in the U.S. Air Force. After the military he heeded Horace Greeley’s advice and headed west. In California he ran a small town newspaper, the Pismo Beach Times (or as he liked to say he wielded “real power”). The next five years were spent traveling the country for AAA – driving from Alaska to Central America and back again. Wherever he went he made friends and become a part of the local community. In the early 60s he arrived in New York City. After producing an off-­‐Broadway musical with some friends from Georgetown, he started his career in earnest, first at PAN AM, then TWA, and finally Citibank. Whether writing speeches for CEOs or leading press tours for rollouts of new airplanes, he loved his job. He loved the travel and the people, but most of all he had fun. He was never too busy to help a friend, or tell a joke, host a dinner party, or meet up in a bar. He learned to fly and took great joy in taking his plane wherever his fancy struck him. As a long-­‐time member of the Overseas Press Club, he became their institutional memory and served on the board for many years. He was a dedicated member of the Iron Gate Chapter of the Air Force Association. He joined the Civil Air Patrol, serving as a Mission Pilot, Incident Commander in Search and Rescue and the Commander of the Manhattan Group. The Civil Air Patrol also led him to Barbara and after 65 years of successful bachelorhood, they were married in 1994. Theirs was a happy marriage with lots of flying, overseas travel, encampments at military bases with the cadets of Civil Air Patrol, university courses, mentoring high school students, lectoring at Holy Name Church and raising money for a defense fund for someone he felt had been wronged. George was always busy, always writing. He was very proud of his grand-­‐uncle Michael Davitt, Irish revolutionary and founder of the Land League in Ireland. And with great joy he reconnected with the Irish cousins In Dublin and visited many times. George Burns – pilot, Irish, Catholic, gentleman, writer, husband, mentor, friend, kind, smart, social, funny. George was all these things and more – and we will miss him. Vigil - 6 to 9 Monday - with sung Vespers and Remembrances at 7:30 Funeral Mass - 10:30 Tuesday with reception to follow Burial - 11:30 Thursday - Mt Olivet Cemetery, Washington, DC with reception to follow
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