John J. Burns “Jack”, 85, of East Providence, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 20, 2020 surrounded by his loving family. Born in Providence, he was the son of the late James J. and Zita (Tucker) Burns.
Jack was a proud Army veteran having achieved the rank of Sergeant and served at Fort Ord, Monterey Bay, California. He was formerly an active communicant of Sacred Heart Parish where he was a lector for Mass, was involved with Catholic Charity drives, coached CYO basketball, led the Cub Scouts and ran the church basement kitchen to cater spaghetti & meatball suppers and St Patrick’s Day dinner fundraisers. Youth advocacy was important to him, and led to his volunteer work at CASA.
Jack had a lifelong entrepreneurial spirit who approached life with curiosity and a love of learning. He graduated from Johnson & Wales with a business degree. Early in his career, he owned and operated a food truck catering company, East Providence Caterers where his customers knew him as “Red”. Later, he started up a real estate brokerage, John J. Burns Real Estate. He realized his true passion for teaching later in life through the development of the East Bay Real Estate Academy where he prepared his students for the real estate licensing exam. He enjoyed cooking, boating and relaxing in Point Judith and do-it-yourself home projects. He also loved storytelling, singing, charades, canasta and spending time with his children, grandchildren, and other family and friends in RI and Vero Beach, FL.
He is survived by his children, Jo-Anne Gannon, Debra M. Burns, John T. Burns, Laurissa Burns and her partner Vincent Flynn, Patricia A. Burger and her husband Mike, two grandchildren, Sean J. Gannon, Patrick B. Gannon and his wife Lea, and one great grandchild, Thomas P. Gannon. He was the brother of the late Camilla McDonald, Mary Kay Marcello and Jim Burns. He leaves his former wife, Joan M. Ferreira and was pre-deceased recently by his beloved partner of 25 years, Mary M Langton.
Due to the current health crisis, his funeral and burial will be private. A memorial mass and celebration of Jack’s life will be planned for a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Friends of RI CASA, PO Box 20059, Cranston, RI or Hope HealthHospice, 1085 North Main St, Providence, RI. For the online guest book, please visit PerryMcstay.com.