William (Bill) F. Burns, age 82, from Flandreau and formerly from Janesville, MN, died of prostate cancer on Saturday, December 28, 2013 at the Edgewood Vista Assisted Living surrounded by loving care from family and hospice.
Bill was born to Joseph and Marie (Smith) Burns in Flandreau on August 9, 1931. He attended Flandreau Public Schools and received his high school diploma in 1949. He worked several years at Randall-Spies Super Value in Flandreau before enrolling at General Beadle State College in 1956. In 1959 he completed his BS in Elementary Education after only three years and accepted his first Elementary school teaching assignment in Sheldon, IA where he taught for three years. He then accepted an elementary teaching assignment in Janesville, MN where he served for thirty years as a teacher and twenty years as elementary principal following his earning a MEd at Mankato State College. He retired from the Janesville school system in 1993 after 34 years in education.
He was a very active member of the Janesville community. In addition to his dedicated and excellent work in the school, he served as both president and secretary-treasurer of the Janesville Rotary Club, president of the Irish American Club of Southern Minnesota, and Eucharistic Minister and Lector of St. Ann Catholic Church. He was a volunteer at Holy Spirit Retreat Center, membership Chair of the Volunteer in Action for Waseca County; Meals on Wheels and Janesville Food Shelf volunteer. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, holding the office of Grand Knight and recorder. He served as president and secretary of the Waseca Area Retired Educators Association. He was recognized by the Retired Educators Association in Minnesota for his Service to Community in 2010.
Bill is survived by his sister: Mary Powers, Flandreau, two brothers: Richard (Rita), Flandreau and Robert (Donna), Brookings; two sisters-in-law: Marlys Burns, Duluth MN and Sheila Burns, Las Vegas NV, 12 nieces and nephews, his forever friend June Fell, Waseca MN and special friends, Nettie Winarski, Mankato, MN and Mark Born, Janesville; in addition to many other dear friends from Janesville, his adopted second hometown of 50 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, brothers, Charles and James, brother-in-law John Powers and nephews, Martin and Michael.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Friday, January 3, 2014 at Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Flandreau. Visitation will be Thursday from 5:00-7:30 pm with a 7:30 pm scripture service and a KC Rosary at Skroch Funeral Chapel. A special memorial celebration of Billís life will be held at St. Ann Catholic Church in Janesville at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 4, 2014.