Bill was an avid outdoorsman and athlete, having completed the Boston Marathon on two occasions. He was an avid skier, mountain climber, tennis player, hiker, drummer, conservationist and preservationist. He was known as a ferocious street hockey player with the families and kids on Federal Street and Chestnut Street and enjoyed a game of football every thanksgiving day. He was a member of the Mt. Washington Observatory and was a volunteer worker on the top of Mt. Washington for three years.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” (Metcalfe) Burns, his five children, Robin Spilman and her husband Jeffrey of Sandwich, Torrey Ober and her husband Harold of Salisbury, N.H., Lucretia McCarthy and her husband Bennett of Natick, William Russell Burns III of Salem and Sarah Brogna and her husband Matthew of Swampscott, nine grandchildren, his one great grandchild, his brother, Henry J. Burns and his wife Andrea of Norway, Maine, his sister-in-law Abby Burns of Salem and many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Jeremiah Burns.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to his Memorial Service which will be held in the First Church of Salem, Unitarian, 316 Essex, St., Salem, Friday, October 19th, 2012, at 2 P.M. Assisting the family with the arrangements is The O’Donnell Funeral Home 46 Washington Square (at Salem Common), Salem. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Bill’s memory to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, 13 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem, MA 01970. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com