John J. Burns “Jack”

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


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13 entries.
Paul A. Paoletta from Providence wrote on April 27, 2020 at 6:25 pm
John, Joann, Debbie, Laurissa and Tricia my condolences. Jack was a great man!
Nancy Pavone from Brooklyn wrote on April 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm
Laurissa , I’m so sorry about your dad . He was lucky to have you as such a loving and devoted daughter . May he Rest In Peace 💔
Charlene Lataille from Hope, RI wrote on April 25, 2020 at 9:01 am
Sending sympathy, love, and light to the Burn’s family during this most difficult time and keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
John Burns wrote on April 24, 2020 at 6:51 pm
Losing a parent is a painful thing.I feel your sadness.Kathy
Fred Galipeau from Warwick wrote on April 24, 2020 at 3:52 pm
Dear Jo-Anne & the Burns family; Jackie and I send our condolences and very sorry about your loss. Your Dad always would brighten up a room with his stories. Fred
Sandie Sinatra from North Providence wrote on April 24, 2020 at 3:16 pm
My deepest sympathies in the loss of your father, Jo-Anne and family.
Elyse Cute from Sebastian wrote on April 24, 2020 at 11:28 am
Dear Burns family, Very sorry for your loss...many fun memories with your dad and Mary. My condolences.
Jack and Sandy Cute from Sebastian, Florida wrote on April 24, 2020 at 11:20 am
Dear Burns family, We are so sorry for the loss of your Dad. Hoping time and all of your memories get you through this. Our deepest sympathies, Jack and Sandy💙
Karen Marcello from Danielson Ct wrote on April 24, 2020 at 8:57 am
Jo-Anne and entire Burns family we are so sorry for your loss of your Dad may your wonderful memories sustain you at this time.
Greg Abate from Coventry wrote on April 23, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Dear Debra, to you and your family I am very sorry for your loss of your Father. 🙏 Greg
Kerry Tracey from Newport, RI wrote on April 23, 2020 at 4:14 pm
Dear Deb and the entire Burns Family, Wishing you Comfort as you process your incredible loss ! What a beautiful tribute to Your Father ,and a life well lived !. With Deepest Sympathy and continued Prayers . Kerry T.
Kelly Karpik from Folsom wrote on April 23, 2020 at 3:48 pm
My deepest condolences to Jo-Anne and her family.
Deborah Giordano from West Greenwich wrote on April 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm
My deepest sympathy for your Dad, Debbie, Jo-Ann and family. Praying for you all. God Bless you all. Wishing you strength, peace, and support from your beloved family and friends. Sincerely, Debbie G