In Memoriam : Richard Burns

Richard C. Burns - age: 86
(November 20, 1924 to May 06, 2011 )
Resident of Three Rivers, California

Visitation Information:
At Richard’s request, there will be no services.

Richard C. Burns, 86, of Three Rivers CA died at home on Friday, May 6, 2011. He was born on November 20, 1924 in Millersburg, Ohio, the son of Harold and Evelyn Burns.
During his early years, he was very active in the scouting program, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout with Gold Palm, later he served as Scoutmaster of Troop 100 in Columbus, Ohio.
He served in the Army during World War II in the China-Burma-India Theater; Burns was a mule skinner in the 124th Cavalry, Mars Task Force. Walking 200 miles through the jungles of North Central Burma, from Myitkyina to Lashio, he once said, “I was hanging on to a mule’s tail about as far away from home as I could possibly be.” His army experience took him around the world.
A graduate of Ohio State University, he began his career with the National Park Service as a Ranger-Naturalist in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was there that he met and married the former Margaret Bebb, daughter of Hubert and Louisa Bebb. She passed away in 1983.
Other important assignments followed at Lake Mead, Yosemite, Hawaii Volcanoes, Mammoth Cave and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks where he worked for 23 years. He retired in 1980.
He was a member of the Southern Sierra Archeological Society and the American Rock Art Research Association. He was deeply interested in Photography and in the research and preservation of Indian Rock Art.
He was preceded in death by his son John of Gatlinburg TN; a brother, Robert of West Point MS; and a sister Ruth of Marietta OH. He is survived by two grandchildren, Heather Burkhart and John Burns of Gatlinburg, TN.

Eddie McArthur - May 15, 2011Contact this person Contact this person
I am so sorry to learn of Dick's passing. He was the ultimate gentleman and simply a joy to be around! Scott and I both loved to walk with him and listen to his decades of wisdom and knowledge about the natural world. He made our time in Three Rivers special and we will remember him with love.

Lou & Estelle Christensen - May 16, 2011Contact this person Contact this person
We were sorry to hear of your granddads passing. He will be missed at our Three Rivers Senior League gatherings. He did have some wonderful stories to tell & would always have an answer to "PARK" questions.

Liz Biller - June 17, 2011Contact this person Contact this person
Dick Burns was a wonderful influence in my life. I first met Dick as a young college student when my favorite cousin, Bill Gardiner, worked for him as a naturalist. When I'd head to Sequoia for a visit, my cousin always had stories of hikes he'd taken with Dick's son, Johnny Burns. Oh, the adventures they had. After majoring in biology and becoming a high school science teacher, Dick hired me to work the Lodgepole Visitor Center desk. I was proud when he hired me to be a naturalist the next year. That first summer, Dick played matchmaker. He arranged the schedule so I had the same days off as a young, eligible, bachelor naturalist named Tom Biller. What a wonderful thing he did since I married the young naturalist and have been happily married 36 years. For nearly twenty years, I taught environmental science and biology to middle and high school students. I never forgot the lessons Dick taught me. He was a terrific man.