William Thomas Burns
SALISBURY, MD-William Thomas Burns, 71, of Salisbury died at his home on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of the late William E. and Alice M. Burns.
Bill is survived by his wife, Judith Shultz Burns; two daughters, Debbie Elliott and her husband, Michael, of Portland, Oregon, and Bonnie Oberlander and her husband, Jonathan, of Eugene, Oregon; two step-daughters, Patricia Backer and her husband, Jason, of Berlin, Md., and Amy Farozic of Willards, Md; five granddaughters, Hanna Oberlander, Cleo Jones, Hailey Oberlander, Carly Elliott, and Taylor Elliott; a sister, Alice Hadley of Urbana, Illinois; and two brothers, Barry Burns and his wife, Ellen, of Gladstone, Oregon, and Robert Burns and his wife, Lorretta, of Saratoga, California.
Bill graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in physics, and attended Northwestern University
. He spent his career with NASA
at Wallops Island, retiring in 1995 as Test Director. Bill had a passion for science and the space program from an early age, and, as a student, had a job at the Naval Air Development Center in Johnsville, Pennsylvania, where he had a chance to meet and work with the Mercury astronauts as they trained there on the centrifuge.
Bill enjoyed spending time with family, reading, fixing things and working with the computer, developing several software programs. He was a pet lover and avid naturalist who loved spending time observing the wildlife at his backyard pond.
Contributions may be made in Bill's memory to Coastal Hospice, Post Office Box 1733, Salisbury, MD 21802-1733.