Kenneth Robert Burns, a generous and friendly soul, passed Monday December 19th 2022 surrounded by family and many who cared for him deeply. On June 28th 1936, he started his journey in the home of loving parents Lillian (Billie) White and William Floyd Burns as the oldest sibling to Wilma, Virginia and Sherrie.
Ken cherished the summers of his early years with family visiting the home of his grandmother in Summit Utah. Many of his tales or stories originated from there. Though it was not his home, he always considered it his hometown. His zest for life began in that place tending sheep with family, riding horseback, and spending days afield hunting or fishing. In his later years he returned often and loved to drive the streets regaling tales of toppling a buck, where each family member lived, and describing many other types of early exploits.
Attending numerous high schools, he ultimately graduated from Jordan High in 1955. He loved showing everyone where they hoed beets and was a proud alum and “beet digger.” He attended Weber state for three years, later graduating from Utah State and becoming an Aggie at heart. It was there, Ken developed many talents. He loved to be social, which turned into an ability for selling about everything he could. He was a quick thinker and loved to share stories of wild times. Driving cars from the back seat or participating in crazy stunts with his fraternity brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
He married Loraine Carter. They were blessed with two children, Julie and Jerry. Ken loved all kinds of adventures and took his children with him. He exposed his kids to skiing, canvasing the mountains on horseback, and going up the mountains in a pickup truck.
In 1974 Ken married Lois Michaelis Burns and continued his love of family with her as his sweetheart for 48 years. Together they added Cody, KC, and Susan. He and Lois spent 6 years in Elko Nevada serving in the Elko Chamber of Commerce. He was a cowboy at heart who loved horses, fishing and hunting, mining and even took flying lessons. In 1980 they returned to Salt Lake City where they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
Ken and Lois ultimately settled in Sandy UT to raise their family. Ken was delighted with the success of his kids. Hearing their reports of duck hunting, windsurfing competitions, a good day fishing at Strawberry, or moto cross made his day. He loved all of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He loved his time serving in the Jordan River Temple. He served as an usher at Temple Square for 21 years. There he loved to interact with anyone and serve as an outside line usher. Everyone at the square was his friend.
Ken didn’t dwell on the negative. He tried to always remain positive. His life of fearless mobility and gift for gab were limited by several strokes. He endured each occurrence with courage and positivity, never complaining about his circumstance along the way. He still lit up whenever anyone arrived to just chat. His loving wife Lois cared for his every need as an example of love and devotion by all who witnessed it. The family also rallied to his aid, and the Sunday parties became common at the Burns home. Ken loved the gatherings and led the grandchildren to sing his favorite songs. Simple ones like “Give said the Little Stream '' were favorites. And he loved to finish with “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” reminiscent of his time on the square. It was usually at these gatherings that Ken, overwhelmed with love for his family, would testify of God’s love through tears and a shaky finger point giving credit to the one above. It was not uncommon to hear him say “He Lives”.
A special thanks to Nurse Valerie and her peers from Enhabit Home Health. Professional support has been so appreciated during this final year of Ken’s life.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents who were William Floyd and Lillian Burns, sisters Wilma Dee and Virginia Lee. He was survived by his wife Lois Michaelis Burns, sister Sherrie Ann Love, and children Jerry Burns, Julie (Mark) Goodman, Cody Burns, K.C. (Amber) Burns, and Susan (Ryan) McAffee. He had 17 grandchildren: Tyler, Amber, Nicole, Steve, Carter, Jessica, Mckenzie, Ashley, Madison, Lillian, Easton, Katelyn, Cash, Emmalyn, Kaley, Gage, and Jace. Great grandchildren are Savannah, Carter, Brooklyn and London.
Funeral Services Details for Ken Burns:
Viewing Monday, December 26th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Anderson and Goff Mortuary on 11859 S 700 East, Draper, UT 84020.
December 27th, services held at Eastridge Stake Center on 1187 E Draper Parkway, Draper, UT 84020. Viewing from 10-11 a.m., Funeral at 11 a.m. Graveside service at the Draper City Cemetery.
The service will be livestreamed on the Anderson & Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link:
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)