Earl W. Burns, 92, of Newark and Rehoboth Beach, DE, peacefully passed away on April 10, 2019. He was born in Wilmington, DE, to the late Eva L. (Davis) and James Burns and grew up with his two brothers on Union Street in the row home that is now Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop. Earl resided in St. Louis, Missouri for many years. He attended St. Anthony’s Catholic School and remained friends with many of his classmates for over 80 years. He enlisted in the Army Air Force and was deployed to Italy from 1944-1946. When he returned, he enrolled in Goldey-Beacom College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Eastern Nebraska Christian College. Earl was an avid sports fan, adopting Philadelphia teams as his own. He was a standout basketball player for the Wilmington High School Red Devils, Goldey-Beacom College and a few semi-pro teams. He coached and refereed at the high school and college levels throughout the Midwest and was a member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, founded the first Board in Missouri, an inducted member and founder of the Delaware Legends Basketball Hall of Fame, and inducted into the Missouri Basketball Officials Hall of Fame. Additionally, Earl was a member of the PGA and taught golf professionally for over 20 years. In addition to sports, Earl loved to spend time at the beach in Rehoboth and Ocean City, MD, crabbing and fishing. He was a lifelong member of VFW Post 7447 and American Legion Post 5. Earl was preceded in death by his first wife Charlotte Kerstetter, daughter Joanne, brothers Charles and James, and his second wife of over 31 years, Norma Jean Heidrick.
Earl is survived by his children Carol B. Ayrey (Bill), James E. Burns (Janis), and Theodore P. Burns; his stepchildren Karen S. Caine (Robert), Joseph M Heidrick, and Ann L. Heidrick; his grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews and nieces.
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday April 17, 2019 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, with a Christian Burial Mass to follow at 11:30 AM at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 345 Bear-Christiana Road, Bear, DE 19701. Burial will follow at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear, DE. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 185 Salem Church Road, Newark, DE 19713. Online condolences may be made at http://www.mealeyfuneralhomes.com/.