William's Story

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William "Bill" Donald Burns, 75, of Traverse City, passed away Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at his home.
Bill was born on Jan. 25, 1942 in Alpena to the late Frank and Florence (Murray) Burns as one of 11 children. He married Shirley Ann Bilow on Jan. 31, 1975 in Traverse City.
As a child Bill was very active. He loved running in the woods and fishing. At the young age of 21 he was in a horrific car accident and tragically, he was left paralyzed. Bill spent 53 years in his wheelchair and despite his painful disability, he was still a good natured man.
In his spare time he enjoyed reading, playing guitar, watching western movies, singing, writing country western songs and playing euchre and pool with his buddies. He played and sang in country western bands in his youth, worked on cars and loved playing cards with his wife, Shirley. His biggest accomplishment was earning his brown belt in karate. He watched every Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee movie to learn as many karate moves as he could.
Bill will be fondly remembered for his great story-telling and for his great sense of humor. He had quite a laugh!
Surviving Bill are his ex-wife, but still his companion, Shirley; daughters, Paulette Burns, of Alpena, and Sheila Burns, of Florida; stepchildren, Michael Taylor, of Traverse City, Richard (Rhonda) Taylor, of Texas, and Karen (Jessie) Bolado, of Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Chris Sheldon, Ken (Melissa) Sheldon, Kathy (Cody) Stemkowski, Alexis (Don) Acker, Jason (Becky) Bolado, AJ Bolado, Jamison Bolado, Emma Bolado and Jacob Bolado; great-granddaughter, Kayla Bolado; loving siblings, Laura (Joe) Bleau and Art Burns; and many other loving family members.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Genevieve, Norman, Jim, Lucille, Gerald, Shirley, Floyd and Francis.
Private family services will take place at a later date.
Kindly share thoughts and memories with Bill's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Published on March 23, 2017
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