Colonel Jerald Charles Burns, 74, a resident of Montgomery, died Wednesday, September 11, 2013. Visitation will be Sunday, September 15, 2013 from 5-7 pm at White Chapel Funeral Home. A funeral service, officiated by Rev. Phillip McKenna, will be held at Our Lady Queen of Mercy Catholic Church on Monday, September 16, 2013 at 2 pm. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Col. Burns was preceded in death by his wife, Juanita Louise Starr Burns, father and mother, Gerald Dennis Burns and Stella Stanislaw Burns, his twin brother, James Edward Burns, his brother, Lawrence Dennis Burns, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Lawrence Hubert Hill, Sr. and Mary Etta Starr Hill, his sister-in-law, Rebecca "Becky" Sullivan Starr.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Matthew Joseph Shoemaker and Mary Carroll Burns Shoemaker, his son and daughter-in-law, Jerald Charles Burns, Jr. and Marguerite Peters Kahn Burns and his two grandchildren, John David Tillman Burns and Marguerite England Burns, his brothers and sisters-in-law Michael Paul Burns and Rose Marie Klem Burns, Thomas William Burns and Rozella E. Turner-Burns, sister and brother-in-law Mark Crain Sanders and Maureen Ann Burns Sanders, sister Margaret Kathryn Johnson, sister-in-law Sharon Keimath Burns and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John Carroll Starr, Jr. and Barbara Thompson Starr.
Pallbearers will be, Michael Paul Burns, Michael Paul Burns, Jr., Lawrence Herbert Hill, Jr., John Brant Hill, Bryan Keith Kelley, Matthew Allen Moore, John Carroll Starr III, Daniel Spencer Starr and Robert Horace Starr. Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Bradford Cooper III, John Carroll Starr, Jr., John Carroll Starr IV, and Spencer Alan Starr.
Col. Burns was born in Highland Park, MI on August 27, 1939. He was married on September, 2, 1967 at Our Lady Queen of Mercy Catholic Church. He attended Loyal University receiving his B.S. degree in 1961. While at Loyal University, he achieved the distinction of becoming the Army R.O.T.C. Brigade Commander. After graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and proudly served his country for 24 years. While in service to his country he had the honor of serving with the 5th Special Forces Group during the Vietnam War. Throughout his outstanding military career he received numerous decorations, medals and awards. After retiring from the Army and receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama he devoted 21 years to being a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences at Alabama State University. Col. Burns was a soldier, a scholar, and a teacher but most of all a loving husband, father, and a very proud grandfather.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the Wounded Warrior Project or Catholic Social Services of Montgomery. White Chapel-Greenwood Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.