Vernon William "Bill" Burns of Brawley passed from this life peacefully on June 23, 2020, with his family at his side, following a battle with leukemia; he was 78. Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years, and the love of his life, Glenda; son Wes (Gillian) Burns of Chandler, AZ; daughter Stacie (David) Easterling of Antelope, CA; grandchildren Morgan, Patricia, Jacob, and Madilyn; uncle David Burns; sister Carol Marshall; brother Dennis Burns, and sister Verna Mae (Marcus) Neuhaus. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Vernon E. and Esta Mae Field Burns, and brother Jerry R. Burns. A third generation Imperial Valley native, Bill was born in Brawley on January 8, 1942, and attended schools in Brawley and Westmorland. In 1964 he enlisted into the US Army, and went on to serve a combat tour as an infantryman in Viet Nam. Following his discharge, he joined Brawley Police Department, where he was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant. On September 5, 1967 Bill married Glenda Pendley of Brawley, and started a family. He left the police department after six years of dedicated service, and went on to work as a ranch foreman for many years, before taking over his father's lamb feeding business near Westmorland, which he operated until he retired. Sociable and selfless to a fault, Bill had an extraordinary willingness to help anyone in need, and was well-known throughout the Valley. Proud of his Valley heritage, he was prone to reminiscing about memorable events, people, and places that had impacted him throughout his life. He was thankful for his years of military and law enforcement service to our community, state, and nation, and inspired his son Wes to serve as well. Bill had a knack for making children laugh, and went out of his way to do nice things for others without being asked. No stranger to hard work, he was industrious and had an inspiring work ethic; he faithfully served on the Westmorland School Board for more than a decade, was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Pioneers Memorial Museum. Confident in his spirituality and sense of humanity, Bill was a deacon and active volunteer at Valley Baptist Church; the sorrow of Bill's absence from those who knew him on earth is balanced by the joy of those who know him now in heaven. Family visitation and viewing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 6-9 p.m. at Frye Chapel and Mortuary in Brawley. Per the Imperial County Public Health guidelines, 10 visitors maximum will be allowed inside Frye's Chapel at a time. In lieu of flowers please send donations in Bill's memory to Valley Baptist Church at PO Box 334 Brawley, CA 92227, or VFW Post 9305 PO Box 3054 El Centro, CA 92244.
Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Jun. 30, 2020.