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Frank H. Burns

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MANCHESTER CENTER -- Frank H. Burns, 85, of Manchester Center, passed away Nov. 14, 2006, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family, of complications following surgery.

He was born May 17, 1921, in Hartford, Conn., the son of Frank H. Burns who died a few months before Frank was born, and Mary (Kennedy) Burns of Hartford, Conn. He received his early education in Hartford schools and upon graduation from Kingswood earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York. Frank proudly served as a Lt. aboard the Destroyer Escort USS FOSS during WWII.

ln the late 1940s he and the late “Nundy” Bongartz built Skylight Ski Lodge in a Winhall. Armed only with a GI Bill apiece, strong backs and the will to live the good life in Vermont, they raised a structure which passerby’s regularly stopped to photograph because of its unique attractiveness.

On Nov. 30, 1963, Frank married Jean Gorman of New York City at the Benedictine Priory in Weston, the first wedding performed there. Father Stephen, OSB, a friend of Frank’s, did the honors. Until early 2003 the couple ran Skylight Ski Lodge, which, in its long peak years, housed, and served breakfast and dinner to 50 skiers. There they also raised two daughters. Frank was for a number of years a Justice of the Peace in Winhall.

He loved to ski and to sail. He loved cooking for folks -- for family, friends, skiers and strangers at the gate. He loved swapping stories and jokes around the fire or just anywhere. He never stopped loving to chop and stack wood. He was a pensive man, a shy man, a man of gentle but penetrating wit, who studiously avoided the spotlight, preferring innumerable single acts which illuminated his keen sense of “we’re all in this together.”

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Jean; two daughters, Bernadette Burns of Sunnyvale, Calif.; Claudia Burns of Baltimore, Md.; a sister Patricia Burns Smart Howe of Osterville, Mass.; a cousin Denise Zak of Westlake, Ohio, and her husband Don; 29 nieces and nephews and 11 great-nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Paul’s Church in Manchester on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006, at 11 a.m. Father John Whalen will be the celebrant. Please join family for fellowship in the Church hall following the mass. Friends may call at Brewster Funeral Home 34 Park Place Manchester on Friday, Nov. 17, 2006, from 4 to 7 p.m. when the family will be in attendance. E-mail condolences may be sent to the family by visiting http://www.sheafuneralhomes.com
Published in Bennington Banner on Nov. 16, 2006
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