Howard A. Burns

Westfield-Howard A. Burns, 88, died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. He was born November 26, 1930, to the late Winfred and Eva (Dame) Burns of Greenfield. He was a graduate of Greenfield High School, Hebron Academy and the University of Massachusetts where he earned a B.A. in Physical Education and Mathematics. In college he was drafted into the U.S Army during the Korean War, where he was deployed on the peninsula as a cryptographer. He received his M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. In 1956, he married Barbara (Rugani), whom he met at UMass, and they have lived in Westfield since 1962. He taught and coached baseball, basketball and soccer at Springfield Technical High School, and basketball at Central High School, winning Div 1 State Championships in all three sports. He coached baseball for East Springfield Post #420, Westfield State College, and the Westfield Platers of the Tri-County League. He loved his students and players from all backgrounds, remaining in contact with many over the years, helping them in any way he could.

Howard was a parishioner of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church. He is survived by his wife of 62 years    Barbara, his children Cary Burns of Feeding Hills, Melissa Morin of Belchertown, Thomas Burns of Minneapolis, and Kevin Burns of Westfield, 12 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson. He also leaves his sisters Phyllis Vincent of Bernardston and Janet Bache of Bristol, NH. He was preceded in death by his son Michael in 1982 and his brother Robert in 2015. The funeral will be held on Saturday, March 16th at 9 am from the Firtion-Adams Funeral Service, 76 Broad Street, Westfield, followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 am in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, 127 Holyoke Road. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Friday at the funeral home from 4-7 pm. Memorials can be made for Parkinson’s Disease Research at toward the development of a salivary diagnostic test.

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