Born and raised in Fishtown, Mr. Burns was a 1963 graduate of Father Judge High School. Afterward he had a number of jobs before joining the family business.
He drove a truck for Torresdale Fuel Co., delivering coal and oil to homes in Northeast Philadelphia. His claim to fame, he liked to joke, was the time he overturned a coal truck on Torresdale Avenue, forcing the Route 56 trolley to shut down due to spilled coal. The incident made the evening news.
And he worked for Proctor & Schwartz, an electrical equipment firm, and did iron work on the Spectrum during its construction in the 1960s.
But the funeral business was growing, and his father needed help. So Mr. Burns went to night school to qualify for mortuary school in New York. After graduating in 1973, he began work and continued until three weeks ago. He never retired.
He loved golf and spending time with family and friends.
Surviving are his wife, the former Maria Monaco; son Robert J. Jr.; daughter Lisa Burns Campbell; four grandchildren; three brothers; and nieces and nephews.
A viewing from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Burns Funeral Home in the Northeast, 9708 Frankford Ave., will be followed by a 10 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Katherine of Siena Church, 9700 Frankford Ave. Burial is in Resurrection Cemetery in Bensalem.
Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or email@example.com.