Frank BurnsJanuary 19, 1929 ~ January 15, 2018 (age 88)
Frank Burns died on Monday morning, January 15, 2018 just 12 days shy of his 89th birthday. God in His gracious goodness allowed him to live in his home of 66 years with loving care until the very end.
Frank Vaun Burns was born at home on January 27, 1929 in the Stuart Place area to Robert Oyer and Nora Hitt Burns. Frank, the youngest son, was the sixth of eight children. The Burns family had come to the Rio Grande Valley from Tyler, TX in 1920 to farm. Out of all the children, Frank was the only one to make farming his profession and continued working into his 80's. Frank's father was a sharecropper and they moved often. They lived in several homes in the Stuart Place, Briggs Coleman and Primera areas. Eventually they settled in Primera where Frank attended Wilson Tract School, playing basketball and football. He was voted "Most Handsome" of the 1947 graduating class at Wilson School.
It was at Wilson School that Frank began courting Wilma Webb during their high school years. They married September 20, 1948 at Primera Baptist Church and his love for his beautiful bride never faltered. Their marriage was an example for countless family members and friends. Wilma preceded Frank in death in October of 2015, and we rejoice that they are together again.
Frank's farming career began with his father-in-law Albert Webb's help. His first crop was eight acres of cotton which produced eight bales. Throughout the next six-plus decades his farming operation grew as he raised cotton, corn, grain sorghum, sugar cane and occasionally some vegetables. Two sons, Keith and Richard, were brought up on the farm and followed in their father's footsteps. From 1962-1995 Frank and his sons supplemented their farming income by doing custom cotton picking and combining grain and corn in the Rio Grande Valley, then hauling their machines to the Arkansas Delta to pick cotton and combine soybeans and wheat.
Over the years Frank gave countless hours of service by serving on the boards of the La Feria Irrigation District #3, Port Regional Gin (originally Producer's Gin), Gulf Compress and Valco; but the longest and most enjoyed was his 42 years as a Director on the Board of Magic Valley Electric Cooperative.
Frank and Wilma raised their family in the Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon. He was a man of strong faith, Christian values, and was widely respected. In healthier days his daily routine included a coffee shop visit at a certain time every day, and also a visit to John Deere for more coffee and talking. His house and farming headquarters on Burns Road was a favorite among many nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. Living in the country near canals, drainage ditches, railroad tracks, around barns, fields, tractors, and farm equipment presented opportunities for fun and near disasters for lots of kids who were raised in the city.
Frank came from a truly remarkable family. All of the eight siblings were married and celebrated 50 year wedding anniversaries. They were an extremely close bunch of brothers, sisters and in-laws who cherished their get- togethers and reunions. Frank's mother lived to be 97, and her mother died at age 101. A family history compiled several years ago tells stories of strong, faith-filled women and men who lived through tough times and made do with whatever they had. What a legacy they gave to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We are incredibly proud of this heritage.
Frank was predeceased by his parents, his wife, brothers and sisters Ethelene, O.T., Ray, Cecil, Thelma Jean and Mary Ann, along with their spouses, a granddaughter D'Anne, grandson Toby, and great-grandson Heath.
He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law: Keith and Cora Lea Burns, Rick and Lolly Burns; his grandchildren and great grandchildren: Andy, Jennifer, Caden and Ashlynn Burns; Levi, Brooke, Beau and Brooklynn Burns; Carly, Steve, Pike, Ty and Cullen Thomas; Tyler, Ashton and Berkely Burns. One brother, George Burns (age 93) also survives Frank, as well as a multitude of nieces, nephews and an adopted family from custom harvesting days in Arkansas. Glenda Beene Pearson is the daughter Wilma and Frank never had.
Maria G. Gomez and Martha Aparacio are sisters who have cared for both Wilma and Frank for the past five years. They used patience, wisdom, common sense, and an abundance of love. Satu Gomez, Claudia Gomez and Alma Pena are greatly appreciated by Frank's family for their many contributions, as well.
Burial will be private. Services will be held Saturday, January 20, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Combes with Pastor Steve Wiest officiating. A time of visitation will be held at 10:00 followed by a memorial and thanksgiving service at 11:00. A meal and more visiting (Frank's favorite activities) will follow in the Fellowship Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Combes, P.O. Box 598, Combes, TX 78535 or the D'Anne Burns Memorial Scholarship at UMHB, Box 8433, 900 College St., Belton, TX 76513-2599, or to the charity of one's choice.