James Leo "Jim" Burns (1935 - 2018)

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James Leo Burns, 82, born on September 5, 1935, in Altoona, PA, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on July 25, 2018, at the Levine & Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville, NC.

Jim resided in Charlotte since 1974 and graduated from The University of Georgia in 1961. He was a proud Army veteran and retired from the US Air Force Reserve after 20 years of service.

He spent over 40 years in the human resource profession, last employed with Biggers Brothers Wholesale Food Distributors in the 80's. His lifelong passion for cars was exemplified in Jim's retirement, as he spent the majority of his time repairing and selling low cost automobiles. Another one of his hobbies was searching out pecan trees high and low. He enjoyed finding the trees and harvesting the pecans to share with family and friends. He never met a pecan tree that he didn't like.

Jim enjoyed life to the fullest, always seeing life in the most positive way, never complaining or upset. He was a generous man who believed in helping those in need, even when others advised against it. He was a faithful blood donor throughout his lifetime, giving over 19 gallons of blood.

His love of dancing began when he was in the Army, attending Friday night dances when stationed at Ft. Gordon in Augusta, GA. Jim was a long time member and treasurer for the Highlighter's Dance Club which met in Belmont, NC and The Carolina Dance Club. You could find him dancing up to three times per week. His favorite requested song to dance to was "September in the Rain" by Dinah Washington.

Jim also had a nice singing voice. While he was in the Army, stationed at Ft. Dix, NJ, he was a member of The Four Gleemen, a barbershop quartet who won the Third Army Talent show in 1956. His group appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in June 1956. His lifelong love of music was also displayed in his extensive album collection. He loved listening to songs performed by Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. Frank Sinatra was his all-time favorite singer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Gwen Burns (PA); sisters, JoAnne Ingham (FL), and Gwendolyn Alleman (CA); son, James Michael Burns; and mother of his children, Geraldine Johnson.

He is survived by his daughters, Sharon Burns and Jennifer Sisk; son-in-law, Steve Sisk; and grandchildren, Kayla Shoemaker, Forrest Burns and Zachary Sisk. Also surviving are his siblings, Jeanne Down (CA), Joseph Burns (FL) and Jane Fatigante (TX).

The service to celebrate Jim's life will be held at 11:00 am Thursday, August 16, 2018, at McEwen Funeral Service-Mint Hill Chapel, 7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill, NC, with Reverend Arnold Kessler officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517, in memory of Jim Burns.

Condolences may be offered at www.mcewenminthillchapel.com.


Funeral Home
McEwen Funeral and Cremation Service, Mint Hill Chapel
7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Charlotte, NC 28227
(704) 545-4864
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Published in Charlotte Observer on Aug. 12, 2018
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