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BURNS, WILLIAM J. III age 57 of Welfare Avenue, died Saturday, January 2, 2010 at home.

Born in Providence, a son of the late William J. and Evelyn A. (Lennon) Burns, he was a Cranston resident for 30 years.

Mr. Burns was a graduate of St. Matthew School, and a 1970 graduate of LaSalle Academy. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education in 1974 and a Master of Education from Rhode Island College. From Bryant College he received his Master of Business Administration in 1989. He was a teacher for the Providence School Department for 28 years, retiring in 2002 as Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Classical High School. During his career he educated students at Oliver Hazard Perry and Roger Williams Middle Schools, in addition to his years at Classical High School.

He was a member of the Classical High School Improvement Team in 1994 and from 1988 to 1996 he served as a member of the Union Faculty Committee. In 1989 he was selected to receive the Classical High School Community Association Above and Beyond Award, the first presented to a teacher. Bill was also a Chairman of the Re-Accreditation Committee for the Mathematics Department at Classical High School in 1992 and 1993.

For more than 40 years as a youth, adult, staff member and volunteer, he remained active in the Scouting program of the Narragansett Council. Bill joined Cub Pack 22, Cranston in 1959 and remained in the Cub Program for four years. He graduated into Troop 17 Providence in 1963 where he earned the Eagle Scout Award in 1968. He served as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 17 for two years from 1970-1972. He later served as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 38 Providence until 1974 when he was named Scoutmaster of Troop 17. He also served as a Merit Badge Counselor from 1974 - 1981.

In 1977 Bill served as an Assistant Course Director for a Weekend Wood Badge Course at Buck Hill Scout Reservation. From 1985 - 1989 he served as a member of the Program Sub-committee of the Council Camping Committee. From 1985 - 2002 he served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Yawgoog Alumni Association and as the Membership Chairman from 1989 - 2000. He also served as a Eucharistic Minister for the St. John Bosco Chapel at Camp Yawgoog in 1981 and again from 1986 - 1988.

Bill served 10 years on the staff at Camp Yawgoog. In 1976 he developed the Webelos Provisional Camp Program and served as Scoutmaster of that Camp. He served as a Troop Commissioner, and as Assistant Camp Director at Three Point Camp, and in 1980 was named the Camp Director at Three Point. In 1981 and 1986 he was Assistant Reservation Director of Camps and Programs. In 1987 and 1988 he served as Reservation Director of Camp Yawgoog. Bill served as advisor to the Maine High Adventure Program in 1989. He earned and was awarded a number of prestigious honors including the Scouter's Award, the Pelican Award, the Wood Badge Beads and the 50-Miler Award. In 1996 he received the Award of Silver Beaver in recognition of his long and dedicated services to the Narragansett Council.

He leaves his siblings, Anne T. Klumbis, and her husband Bernard, of Charlestown, Joseph G. Burns, of Cranston, and Judy A. Burns also of Charlestown. He was the brother of the late infant, Michael C. Burns. He also leaves two nieces, a nephew, four great-nephews, an aunt, and several uncles, cousins, and godchildren.

The funeral will be held Thursday, at 8:30 am, from the Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home, 142 Centerville Road (Rt. 117) Warwick. Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am in Saint Matthew Church, Elmwood Avenue, Cranston. Burial will be in Saint Ann Cemetery. Visiting hours Wednesday, 4 to 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc. 140 Warwick Neck Ave., Warwick, RI 02889 or La Salle Academy 612 Academy Ave., Providence, RI 02908 in his memory will be appreciated. boyleandsonfuneralhome.com

Published in The Providence Journal from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2010
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