Donald Burns

Obituary
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Donald Edward Burns, 89, of Dubuque, formerly of Aurora, passed away at Mercy Medical Center Dubuque on Friday,Sept. 17, 2010.
The celebration of life was held Monday at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Winthrop. Interment with military rites was at St. Patrick Cemetery in Winthrop.
Don was born on December 22, 1920 on a farm northwest of Masonville, IA, the son of John and Bridget Short Burns. He attended Lamont Schools before entering the U.S. Army in 1944 where he served on the Philippine Islands during WWII until his honorable discharge in 1947.
Don was united in marriage to Anna T. Offerman on August 31,1948, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ryan, IA. They started their farming careers in 1949 with two horses, Tritt and Trott. Don and Anna were the parents to a trio of wonderful daughters who were Don's proudest accomplishment. The family had a special partnership in their farm activities where everyone helped with daily chores, caring for piglets and operating farm tractors, balers and other equipment.
Don loved crop farming, raising hogs, travel, gatherings with family and friends and playing black jack. His love for raising corn and soy beans in Buchanan County made him an active participant in conservation farming. In the early 1970's, he converted a traditional barn to a hog farrowing house with the innovative design of gravity fed feed mill which rewarded him with recognition in a prominent farm magazine. Don was recognized for corn and soybean production, quality bred hogs and the "Pork Queens" he and Anna raised. Don mentored young farmers, students, trappers, and hunters. Don and Anna traveled thousands of miles throughout the United States in their motor home and knew the route from northeast Iowa to Birmingham, AL without looking at a map. Don cherished gatherings with family and friends and especially enjoyed many years of camping, school programs and sporting events with grandchildren. In recent years, he enjoyed the entertainment provided by his 2 great-grandchildren. Since moving to Dubuque in 2000, one of his favorite pastimes was playing black jack at the Diamond Jo where the dealers and pit bosses came to know his lively sense of humor. Don was honored to participate in the Greater Dubuque Military Honor's Flight to Washington, D.C. in May, 2010. Don was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Winthrop, IA and Resurrection Catholic Church in Dubuque. Survivors are his loving wife of 62 years, Anna; daughters, Becky (Ronald) Steffen of Peosta, IA, Beverly (Jim) Spahn of Trussville, AL, Brenda (Michael) Vondran of Davenport, IA; grandchildren, Brent (Molly) Steffen, Emily Steffen, Baron Vondran, Riley Spahn and Ryan Spahn; great grandchildren, Paige and Jackson Steffen; siblings Shirley Whitney and Robert Burns, both of Winthrop. He was preceded in death by parents, John and Bridget; sister, Dorothy Callahan; and grandson, Hunter Vondran. Memorials may be given to the HAVLife Foundation (created in honor of Hunter A. Vondran) or the Military Honor Flights of Iowa. The family wishes to extend special thanks to Dr. O. Khatib and Sherry Hayes at Medical Associates for their many years of attentive care. Online condolences may be sent at www.fawcettsfuneralhome.com under obituaries.


Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Sept. 20 to Sept. 23, 2010
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