Cover photo for Erlmest "Earl" E. Burns's Obituary
Erlmest "Earl" E. Burns Profile Photo
1927 Erlmest "Earl" 2019

Erlmest "Earl" E. Burns

December 20, 1927 — May 30, 2019

Erlmest E Burns, Sr.,of Mashpee, formerly of Wilmington and Parrish, Florida, known to friends and colleagues as Earl or Burnsie, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Earl, the son of Howard and Mae (Young) Burns, was born on December 20, 1927 in Wilmington, MA, where he was also raised and educated. As a young man, he met and married Dena, the love of his life, and they began their life together in Chicago. They eventually returned to Wilmington to settle down and raise their two sons. They were fortunate enough to buy their own piece of heaven on Monomoscoy Island on Cape Cod where they spent many happy summers, eventually retiring there. Several recent winters were spent in sunny Parrish, FL.

Earl served the people of the town of Wilmington as a firefighter. He was a master at his job and was the training officer for a generation of Wilmington firefighters. He loved his job, and loved sharing all manner of stories from his experiences. He was a long-time volunteer with The Muscular Dystrophy Association, participating in summer camp experiences for the children.

He loved people, could talk to anyone and had seemingly endless energy. He never said no to anyone in need. He would take on any task, and if he didn't know how to do it, he would learn. He was a man of many talents and interests which was reflected in his many jobs over the years. He could fix anything and owned and operated a business dedicated to repairing complex, industrial machines. After his retirement from the Fire Department, he acted as a security officer for Pinkerton Security. His love of the water, boats and fishing led him to become a Mashpee Assistant Harbormaster for many summer seasons. There were other jobs over the years, but every job Earl put his hands to, large or small, was tackled with the utmost care, and was always done right.

Earl loved adventure and discovering new things. He and Dena traveled widely, including Nova Scotia, many parts of the United States, Scotland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy. They loved cruising and had many happy times in the Caribbean. Earl also found inspiration in the natural world. Truly, he took as much pleasure in watching a sunset, or an osprey in flight, as he did in seeing the Sistine Chapel or the Coliseum.
Earl loved Dena, his wife of 71 years, and his family. A day didn't go by that he didn't thank God for his life, and the simple pleasure of sharing it with Dena. He never needed more than that. We are all grateful to have had him in our lives.

Earl is the beloved husband of Dena (Zakes) Burns. Devoted father of Erlmest E. Burns, Jr. and his wife Janice and Lawrence G. Burns and his wife Anne. Cherished grandfather of Erlmest E. Burns III and his wife Gabriele, Lawrence G. Burns, Jr. and his wife Ellen, Deanna C. Bucci and her husband Matthew, Andrew C. Burns and his wife Suzanne and Sean D. Burns and his wife Joelle and great grandfather of Leah A. Bucci, Matthew R. Bucci, Jr., Katherine E. Burns, Liam R. Burns, Norah C. Burns, Ian C. Burns, Lochlin W. Burns, Alexandra S. Burns and Jacob R. Burns. Loving brother of Bessie Crogan, Verna Stowell, Judith Bradley, Marjorie Thibeault, and late siblings Louis Doherty, James Trask, Mae Perry, Ernest Burns and Lester Burns.

Funeral from the Doherty-Barile Family Funeral Home, 11 Linden St., Reading, on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 9am followed by a Funeral Mass Celebrating Earl's Eternal Life at St. Dorothy's Church, 11 Harden St., Wilmington at 10am.

Family and friends are cordially invited to gather and share memories with Earl's family at the funeral home on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 2 to 5pm.
Interment will be in Wildwood Cemetery in Wilmington.

Please consider making a donation in Earl's Memory to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 33 Lyman St, Westborough, MA 01581 or to the Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452.

For further information,
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Erlmest "Earl" E. Burns, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, June 2, 2019

2:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Doherty - Barile Family Funeral Home

11 Linden St, Reading, MA 01867

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Funeral Service

Monday, June 3, 2019

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Dorothy' Church

, Wilmington, MA 01887

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