Death of a Classmate - RICHARD FRANCIS BURNS - 24th Co.

RICHARD FRANCIS BURNS '54. "Dick" Burns died of congestive heart failure in Potomac Falls, Virginia on 24 January 2018 at the age of 86. He attended University of Detroit Jesuit High School prior to receiving his congressional appointment to the Academy from Michigan.

After graduation, he served on the USS DASHIEL, USS MCGOWAN, and the USS CASA GRANDE. From 1959-1962, he studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at MIT. He served on the USS SHARK  from 1962-64 and qualified in submarines and for command on SHARK. He was Shipyard Superintendent and Assistant Repair Superintendent for submarines in Norfolk Naval Shipyard from 1964-67. As a Commander at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from 1967-69, he was one of two officers assigned to start up PERA(SS). He preplanned the THRESHER Class SUBSAFE overhauls and was the co-author of the integrated submarine overhaul work packages.

From 1969-72 he served on the Joint US Military Mission Aid to Turkey as a senior advisor at Gölcük for the construction of two destroyer escorts. For his work in Turkey, he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal. From 1973-76 he served in the SSPO which received the Navy Unit Commendation for its work on the TRIDENT. He worked on the acquisition of the navigation subsystem for the submarine. In preparation for the sophisticated systems engineering work and integration of the equipment during TRIDENT development, he graduated from Defense Systems Management College, Ft. Belvoir. 

Following retirement from the Navy, he was a Senior Engineer at Vitro Corporation and an editor at Sea Technology where he wrote about everything related to the sea from Changes and Innovations in the Navy to a personal interview with "the Shark Lady" Dr. Eugenie Clark in the Feb '92 issue.

Dick completed over 17 triathlons and the Marine Corps Marathon. He skied the legendary Tuckerman's Ravine at Mt. Washington and took his family on many ski trips where he enjoyed waking his children by singing, with uncharacteristic joviality, "Good Morning Merry Sunshine" to the tune of the Marine Corps Hymn.

Dick is survived by his wife of 58 years Mary K. Burns née McAlister of Brentwood, MD, his sister Katharine Burns, his 4 children Richard Burns, Jr., Chris Burns, Moira Burns, MD, and LTC Colleen Kesselring US Army (Ret), and 3 grandchildren.

There will be a visitation at Adams-Green Funeral Home in Herndon, VA on February 2, 2018 from 11:00 to 1pm. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date

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