Bruce A. Burns ’62

Bruce A. Burns ’62 died on January 4, 2021, in Hamden, Connecticut. 

(The following is a family-provided obituary)

Bruce Burns (80) passed away from complications of ALS on January 4, 2021, at his home in Hamden, CT. Born August 5, 1940, in Queens, NY, to Ernest and Edith Burns, Bruce graduated in 1962 from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME and earned his law degree in 1964 at the NYU School of Law.

Bruce served as an officer in the United States Army, stationed in Germany and later at Fort Benning in Georgia, where he met and married Vivian Jacobs. By the completion of his service in 1968 he achieved the rank of captain artillery. Following his military service, Bruce worked at the Department of Justice, supporting the Organized Crime Division. He later worked at the Department of the Treasury, and then at the Department of the Interior

In 1975 Bruce and his family left Washington, DC, for New York where he joined his brother Richard (Dick) to start the law firm of Burns & Burns in New York City. He continued practicing law until 2017.

Bruce married Ellen Melnick on July 29, 1983. They lived in Briarcliff Manor, NY where he served on the zoning board and as a Briarcliff Manor Trustee. They moved to Spencertown, NY where they continued with their long-time interest of being active in local politics. Bruce spent his final three years in Hamden, CT.

Throughout his life Bruce maintained an inspiring positive outlook. He was a passionate tennis player, loved nature, the financial markets and politics. He and Ellen enjoyed canvassing neighborhoods in upstate New York for federal and local candidates. Bruce spoke openly of his progressive views and the importance of being involved.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Ellen Melnick, and their combined five children, Rebecca Burns, Enid Burns, Hilary Nierenberg, Bradley Nierenberg and Kimberly Josephson (née Nierenberg), and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Dick, and niece, Lee Burns, and nephew, Paul Burns.

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