Obituary of James Robert Burns
James Robert Burns, 91, of Loudonville, beloved husband of Jean Greenshields Burns, passed away suddenly after a brief illness on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. He was born on September 3, 1927 in Castleton-on-Hudson, the son of the late James P. Burns and Beatrice Brown Burns.
At age 17 with his mother’s permission, Jim joined the U.S. Navy during WWII and served in the Atlantic Theater of Operation on the USS Tarazed (AF-13). After he was honorably discharged, Jim returned to Van Rensselaer High School. It was there he met his high school sweetheart, Jean and graduated with the class of 1948.
Following high school, Jim briefly attended Siena College when the opportunity arose to begin his career path with the Niagara-Mohawk Power Company that lasted 45 years. He worked hard, accepted opportunities for advancement, loved the company and attained the position of Chief of the Service Dispatch Office where he was unofficially known as “Mr. Ni-Mo” for his successful contacts with the public.
Patriotism was a part of Jim’s character, nurtured by his active participation in the Boy Scouts of America. At 19 he became a Scoutmaster. He was chosen for the special honor of chaperoning local scouts by train to the first West Coast National “Jamboree of ’53” on Irvine Ranch in California. He remained active in scouting for decades after.
On June 10, 1955 Jim married his wife of 63 years. At Loudonville Community Church Jim’s spiritual side was nourished. He continued to work with youth and especially enjoyed providing them with exciting outdoor experiences such as hiking in the Adirondacks, canoeing the Battenkill and “Freeze Outs” at Camp Pinnacle in the Helderbergs. Jim served the church in many ways: Sunday School teacher, Finance Board Chairman, Boys’ Brigade leader, church usher.
Jim also served as an original board member of the W.C. Little Memorial Park Association until his passing, and contributed time as a board chairman. He was a member of the Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club for over 60 years and also served as chairman. He loved climbing in the High Peaks region during the winter and was considered an expert in winter survival. Jim was District Commissioner of the Albany area for the Clan Campbell Society (N.A.) and was proud to be a member of the St. Andrew’s Society of the City of Albany where he made many long-lasting and cherished friendships.
Jim loved sailing on Lake George and was a former member of the Lake George Club for 20 years. Other interests included reading about history, memberships in local historical societies, and traveling, especially in Scotland.
Jim is survived by his wife Jean; son and daughter-in-law Andrew and Carrie Burns of Brighton, CO; adored grandsons Deaven Burns and Gavin Burns; nephews John Burns and Thomas (Kim) Burns; special cousins Joan Gochee, Robert (Kitty) Murphy, Maureen Topping, Carol Gorham; and many other cousins. He was predeceased by his brother John Joseph Burns.
A calling hour will be held on Saturday, January 26 at Loudonville Community Church, 374 Loudon Road from 2-3pm with a celebration of Jim’s life and worship service beginning at 3pm. He will be laid to rest in Albany Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Capital City Rescue Mission, 259 S Pearl St., Albany, NY 12202 or Camp Pinnacle, 621 Pinnacle Rd., Voorheesville, NY 12186.
Funeral arrangments have been entrusted to the Morris-Stebbins-Miner & Sanvidge Funeral Home, 312 Hoosick St., Troy, NY 12180.
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