Preston Allen Burns WADESBORO - On Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in the early morning, at his favorite time for fishing, Preston Allen Burns quietly slipped away at the age of 100. He was born on February 16, 1914 to Mary Dunlap Burns and George Burns in Ansonville, NC. Some of his happiest memories from childhood involved helping his father on his postal rounds to help determine whether it was safe to cross a flooded road. Preston said, "he never wanted to work behind a mule again." On June 15, 1939, he married Mary Eleanor Watkins. In the family, it was wonderful to see how much they loved and cared for each other until her death in 2005. Preston loved his community, the county of Anson and the town of Wadesboro. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church, Wadesboro where he served in many different capacities from a weekly worship usher on Sunday mornings for many years to chairman of the board of trustees. He served as chairman of the Wadesboro Town Council and worked diligently with the Anson County Chamber of Commerce in an effort to promote and bring industry to the county. He was also instrumental in sponsoring trips through the chamber of commerce and the chamber hosted a Preston Burns tour of Anson County in years past. He was a member of the Wadesboro Rotary Club for more than 70 years where he served as President and Treasurer. He was awarded the Distinguished Rotarian Award and Paul Harris Fellow. He served in banking for over 50 years, beginning with the board of the First National Bank and later with Anson Bank and Trust, having served as chairman of the board at one time. Among the week long celebrations of his 100th birthday, the final party was hosted by his fellow Rotarians. His son Allen commented to him that day following the party, "you are tired, aren't you Dad?" Preston's reply was, "yes, but I have enjoyed every minute of it." His career life was spent founding a number of NAPA stores along with his business partner, Charlie Shelton, in both North and South Carolina. He served as director of the NC Automotive Wholesalers, received a Presidential Award and the Max A. Hayes Outstanding Service Award. His family knows a different Preston; he was a daddy and granddaddy. The daddy, his children loved to have mama send to the store because he always shopped beyond her list to add the good stuff; the daddy and granddaddy who with patience, taught us to water ski; the daddy who would take us to the train station to see the trains come by, especially at night with the lights and noise; the daddy who was always willing to drive a group of friends to ball games or camps. The family vacations where we left after his work day to drive to Florida. The memories of being awaken after a very hard working father came home late to share a bowl of ice cream with a very sleepy small child who could snuggle close. Patience with the very noisy grandchildren who tumbled over each other at the summer house. Golfing was a game he enjoyed into his late 80's, and it never rained at the golf course, and traveling over Europe and the United States, was an adventure he loved. We always knew when he was coming because he was always jiggling coins in his pockets. He did not like yard work! His 100th birthday was a week filled with celebrations given by family and friends. Surviving are his children, Julia (Detmar) Schnitker of New Harbor, ME, Kathy (Dick) Griffin of Charlotte and Allen (Joyce) Burns of Polkton; his grandchildren, Bernd, Dirk, P.J., Wendell, Erika, Kelly, Ines and Pollen and his great-grandchildren, Noah and Lincoln. In addition to his parents and his wife, he was preceded in death by his brother and sister, George Burns and Mary Elizabeth Burns. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at both Meadowview Terrace Assisted Living and Ambassador Health and Rehab for their kind and compassionate care given to Preston over the past few years and also to Dr. Victoria Rommel for her exemplary care for Preston. Funeral services will be 2:00pm Saturday, July 19, 2014, at First United Methodist Church, Wadesboro with Rev. Benny Clodfelter officiating. Interment will follow in Anson Memorial Park. The family will greet friends beginning at 1:00pm in the church parlor until time for the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 118 E. Morgan St., Wadesboro, NC 28170, Wadesboro Rotary Club Planetarium and Science Center, P.O. Box 110, Wadesboro, NC 28170 or to the
. The arrangements are in care of Leavitt Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.leavittfuneralhomewadesboro.com.
Leavitt Funeral Home
2036 Morven Rd
Wadesboro, NC 28170
Published in Charlotte Observer on July 18, 2014