James Burns


On October 16, 2019, our father, grandpa and friend, James Burns was reunited with his eternal sweetheart when he peacefully passed away from the effects of vascular dementia. He left a big void that will be impossible for us to fill.

Jim Burns was born on April 12, 1934 to James Aloyisius Burns and Irene Fischer, in Deer Park, Ohio. Jim grew up in Sacramento, CA and was orphaned at age 14 with his two younger sisters. His childhood stories growing up poor and orphaned were legendary, filled with gypsies, hobos, and carnival workers. He tirelessly worked to give his family the life he didn’t have growing up.

A gifted athlete, Jim excelled in sports, playing basketball and baseball at Sacramento State. Jim then joined the Navy where he discovered a new love, flying, and took his commission as a fighter pilot in the Marines.

During the Korean War, Jim was stationed in Hawaii where he met the love of his life, Darlene DeLapp-love at first sight. They were married on October 24, 1956 and their marriage was solemnized in the Laie Temple. They were together 60 years until Darlene’s passing three years ago. Together they raised five children, Devin (Patty), David, Deanna (Aaron Ingram), Maylene (Eric White), and Michael (Kristi).

After the war, Jim graduated from University of Washington and became a pilot for United Airlines, retiring as a 747-400 captain after 33 years. At age 29, Jim got hooked on golf-and it wasn’t long before he was a scratch golfer, racking up an insane 17 holes in one! He often taught at golf clinics in Hawaii, California and Utah and spent multiple years donating his time as the Timpview High boys golf coach.

Jim loved genealogy and enjoyed serving as a missionary with his dear wife at the Family History Library. He also loved music and could play the organ and the accordion. He was quick with the one liners and could make everyone laugh.

Jim is survived by his five children, their spouses; eight grandchildren, one great-grandchild and one sister. He was preceded in death by his sweetheart, Darlene, one sister and both parents.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at the Valley View 9th Ward, 4101 South 1925 East, Holladay UT, 84124. Family and friends may call at the church a half hour prior to the service. Internment: Holladay Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Veteran Administration’s Fisher House of Salt Lake City.