Robert J. Burns, 85, veteran, worked in finance, active in Men's Club

Robert J. Burns, of Meadow Ridge in Redding, died peacefully on Friday, July 20, at the age of 86. A devoted, kind, and generous husband, father, and grandfather; Bob will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Bob was born in Springfield, Vermont, on December 10, 1925, the only child of precision pattern maker Robert Burns and Daisy Wakeman Burns. As a young boy his favorite pastime was swimming with friends in the Black River.

In 1942, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines and served in the European and South Pacific theatres, running aviation fuel and other supplies. He also served as an Army sergeant at Fort Dix, N.J. during the Korean War.

He graduated from the University of Vermont, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1950. After a brief stint in the insurance industry, Bob worked for more than fifty years in finance, first as a partner in the firm Brundage, Storey, and Rose and later for the firm Daniel S. Kampel and Associates.

Bob married Frances Spargo in 1947. They had three children, and remained married until Frances’ death in 2001. In 2002 he met the second love of his life, Patricia Jenkins Konov, and in May 2003 Bob and Pat married at the Jesse Lee Memorial Methodist Church in Ridgefield.

For the next five years they resided on Blackman Road in town. Bob became a loyal supporter of the Ridgefield Men’s Club and especially enjoyed his weekly lunches with friends from this group. In June 2008 Bob and Pat relocated to Meadow Ridge, a CCRC (Continuing Care Residential Community).

Bob loved doing the N.Y. Times crossword puzzle every day with his beloved wife Pat. He was fond of meeting people and learning about their lives, and first-time encounters with new friends often seemed like interviews. He enjoyed intelligent discussions about politics and current events. He loved a good Yankees game, or even a bad one, especially when he stayed awake.

Bob is survived by his wife Pat, his daughter Lauren of Cambridge, Mass., and his son Bob Jr. along with his son’s wife, Christy, both of Salt Lake City, his son-in-law James Higley of Morristown, NJ, as well as five grandchildren and two stepchildren. He is preceded in death by his first wife Frances and his daughter Emily Burns Higley.

Interment will be at the Spargo family gravesite in Mount Freedom, N.J. A memorial service will be held at Meadow Ridge at a later date.

Contributions in Bob’s memory may be made to the Mark Twain Library, 439 Redding Road, Redding, CT 06896.