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Major (USA-Ret) Gerald F. Burns, 96, of Belmont, MA died peacefully at home on February 18, 2018. Beloved husband of Kathleen E. Burns (Morrissey) married for 70 years. Survived by his son David C. Burns and wife Geralyn Newell of San Francisco, CA; daughter Mary Jean Burns (predeceased); daughter Ruth Ann Burns and her husband Michael Flaherty of Belmont, MA; daughter Amy Louise Burns of Belmont, MA and son William E. Burns of South Boston; grandson Samuel T. Burns and wife Danielle Burns of Berkeley, CA; and grandson John P. Burns of San Francisco, CA.
Major Burns was born on April 30, 1921 in Norwood MA to David and Catherine Burns. He was raised in Walpole MA and graduated from Walpole High School in 1939. He then entered the Army and was sent to the Pacific, serving in the Americal Division. In 1943 he was transferred to the Air Corps and was ordered to the 15th Air Force in Foggia, Italy, where he completed 51 Air Combat missions in a B17 over Germany. Following his discharge at the end of WWII in 1945, Major Burns joined the Mass State Police as a trooper. He re-entered the Army in 1948 and was assigned to the Army Criminal Investigation Division as a special agent. At the outbreak of the Korean War he was sent to Korea, commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army Military Police, serving there 16 months. He completed his Far Eastern tour in Japan, and was assigned in the U.S. and Europe finishing his last tour with the Army Security Agency and the National Security Agency. Major Burns retired from the Army in 1964. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, Air Medal, Korean Action Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asia Pacific Theater Medal, European Medal, German Occupation Medal, National Defense Medal, Mediterranean Defense Medal, North African Theater Medal and United Nations Medal.
He was a graduate of Calvin Coolidge College. In civilian life he worked for the Aetna Life & Casualty Company, retiring in 1982. He resided with his family in Belmont MA. In retirement he enjoyed with his wife and family a home on Cape Cod and traveling abroad and domestically extensively.
Visiting hours will be at Brown & Hickey Funeral Home, 36 Trapelo Rd., Belmont, MA on Wednesday February 21 from 4:00-7:00PM. Funeral Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 130 Common St., Belmont, MA on Thursday, February 22nd at 9:00AM. Please gather at Funeral Home at 8:00AM. Internment at Highland Meadow Cemetery, 700 Concord Ave Belmont, MA. Memorial donations may be made in his name to St. Joseph’s Church, 130 Common Street, Belmont, MA.