Obituary of Frederick Thomas Burns Jr.
Frederick “Fred” Thomas Burns Jr., 93, was born April 19, 1930, and passed away Sunday, April 23, 2023. “Freddy” as he was known to his parents, along with his brother Jimmy, and sisters Peggy, and Kathy, were born in Reading Massachusetts at the beginning of the Great Depression. The family moved south through Alabama to Florida following his father’s work with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Fred met and married the love of his life Janet Stoner in St. Petersburg in 1952, after returning from a tour in the brand-new United States Air Force. Although never graduating from high school, Fred would graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in aerospace engineering. He and Janet were then off to General Dynamics in Ft. Worth, Texas with their children Tommy, Stevie, and Debbie. Jumping at the chance to join the fledgling United States space program, Fred joined NASA in 1961, and they moved to La Porte, Texas. His work was instrumental in our country putting a man on the moon in 1969, and he would later work on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, retiring from NASA after 37 years of exciting service in 1997.
Fred was a judoist, long distance runner, racing sailor, celestial navigator, snow skier, hang gliding pilot, and gliding instructor. Affectionately known as “Grampy” to his grandchildren, he was a scholar, a consummate gentleman, a dedicated family man, a lover of animals, and a true friend and mentor to all who were lucky enough to have known him. Frederick Thomas Burns Jr. was truly our “Hero” and will be greatly missed.
He is preceded in death by his parents; son Stephen Burns; daughter-in-law Linda Burns; brother Jimmy Burns; and grandson Chad Couch. Fred is survived by his loving wife, Janet Burns; son Tom Burns; daughter Debbie Couch and husband, David; sisters Peggy Eustes, Kathy Clark; grandchildren Micah, Allen, Clayton, Amanda, Dustin, and Andy; great grandchildren Ryker, Riddick, Jamie, Jessie, Isabella, Carson, Alisyn, and a host of many other family and friends.
Celebration of Life
In Loving Memory
Frederick Burns Jr.
1930 - 2023
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