Richard E. Burns ’58

Richard E. Burns ’58 died on November 17, 2021, in Brunswick, Maine

(The following was provided by his family on November 17, 2021)

Richard E. Burns (Dick) died on November 17, 2021, surrounded by his family.  Dick was born on May 27, 1937, in New York City to Edith and Ernest Burns.  He grew up in Lake Success, New York, and graduated from Great Neck High School.  He was a very proud graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and New York University Law School.

Dick was a scholar, intellect, mentor, counselor, public servant, and friend to everyone he met. He was incredibly well regarded, respected and beloved. As a husband, father and grandfather (Opa), there was no one better. He was fiercely loving, and while he certainly shared his opinion, he was always supportive of everything his family wanted to do and was endlessly proud of his children and grandchildren.  He always had a big smile, hug, kiss, and thumbs up sign for everyone.

Dick raised his family in Chappaqua, New York, lived there for fifty years and served on the New Castle town board as a council member and subsequently two terms as town supervisor.  He was appointed by the New York State governor to serve as the chairman of the Westchester County Parkway Commission.  Dick practiced law for nearly sixty years, starting with the Federal Trade Commission, leaving to enter private practice, for many years with his brother, Bruce, and then later as solo practitioner sharing management with his wife, Martha.

Dick loved the outdoors, became an avid hiker and, along with his son, Paul, climbed and summited most of the high peaks in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, many in winter.  They then went on to summit Mt. Whitney in California in 2009.

Dick retired from the practice of law in 2016 and moved to Brunswick, Maine, to be near his beloved alma mater, Bowdoin College.  In Maine he busied himself with all things Bowdoin:  He attended sporting events, was a booster and proud grandfather to two of his granddaughters who attended Bowdoin and worked tirelessly on the alumni fund, earning the honor of the Bowdoin College Alumni Service Award in 2018.  In his retirement, he could be found visiting the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, for which he was also a benefactor, attending political lectures, and working out at the Buck Fitness Center, where he was a friend to all, from the students to the staff.  He lived at the end of Mere Point, loving the best view in the world every day and enjoyed sailing in nearby Casco Bay, but most of all, he enjoyed his friends and deeply loved his family.

He is predeceased by his parents, Edith and Ernest Burns, his brother, Bruce, and is survived by his wife of forty years, Martha Burns, his children and their spouses; Lisa Burns and her partner, Suzanne Barg, Paul Burns and his wife, Kristin Jhamb, stepchildren William Cossum and Carol Maher and her husband, Michael; his grandchildren, Alexandra and Rachel Burns, and Colleen and Megan Maher; and his nieces, Enid and Rebecca Burns.

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