Robert Forrest Burns, 81, of Alpharetta, died peacefully at home on Nov. 7 after a brief illness. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of nearly 50 years, Fujiko, and children Cindy Burns of Delray Beach, Fla., Candy (Eddie) Waylock of Alpharetta, Rob (Jasti) Burns of Denver, Colo., David (Kelly Weinberger) Burns of Chicago, Ill., and Ken (Andresa) Burns of Denver, Colo. He is also survived by the lights of his life, his adored grandchildren, Jack, Sam and Gracie Waylock of Alpharetta; Jasper and Sacha Burns of Chicago, Ill.; and Skyler Salem of Denver, Colo.
Mr. Burns was born Dec. 2, 1930, in Bellwood, Pa., the youngest son of the late Earl and Hazel Burns. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald Burns and Jack Burns, and sister Rhoda Adams.
Mr. Burns graduated as valedictorian of his high school class at Bellwood High School, and attended Penn State University before joining the United States Army in 1950. He had a distinguished career in the military, serving as an intelligence officer during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, before retiring in 1971 as a sergeant major. For his service, Mr. Burns earned a number of military commendations including the Bronze Star.
While stationed in Japan, he met the love of his life, Fujiko Burns, and married her on July 15, 1963. The two moved back to the United States where they raised five children while living in Montana, Colorado, Brazil (South America) and Illinois.
After retiring from the military, Mr. Burns earned his bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from the University of Colorado and worked as a comptroller for Joy Manufacturing for 30 years before retiring in 1995. He moved to Georgia that year to be close to his grandchildren, and spent his retirement years attending their sports games, babysitting and traveling with his wife.
Mr. Burns was cremated, and private memorial services will be held at a later date in Delray Beach, Fla., where he had a second home, and in his adopted home state of Colorado. He will be interred at Arlington National Memorial Cemetery during a military burial next spring.