Obituary: Donald Burns

Obituary & Services News Graphic
Share To Your Social Network

Donald Burns obit photoDonald Burns, age 75 of Pattonsburg, MO, passed away Wednesday, February 21, 2024, in St. Joseph with Kathy by his side. Donald was born on September 18, 1948, to Gerald and Dorothy (Groves) Burns of Gallatin, MO. After graduating from Jameson High School in 1966, Donald attended Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Donald married Gloria Scroggie and together they had a son, Tony. Later Donald took a job with Mobil Oil in Kansas City. He then transferred to Dallas, TX with the Mobil Oil Pipeline before returning home to farm. Before retiring, he worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation and continued to farm.

On June 23, 1980, Donald married Kathy Whitt and together they had two daughters, Katie and Gina. Donald was a member of the Gallatin First Christian Church. In his own Donald fashion, he called and shared his decision to be baptized with Kathy on her way home from work. He asked her to meet him and Pastor Maurice McNeely at the Grand River-Guthrie Bridge where he was baptized on their 23rd wedding anniversary.

Family and farming were Donald’s focus. With a little hunting and fishing on the side. Or was it the other way around? Donald served on the Pattonsburg School Board for 9 years, many of which he was Board President. He attended numerous school functions – always showing up to cheer on his children and grandchildren. His attendance at ballgames spans nearly half a century. Donald attended his last game on Gage’s Senior Night, February 6, 2024.

When he wasn’t in the bleachers you could find him in a tractor. He loved to farm, from the intricate decisions to turning the soil. He was an avid paper and magazine reader. He was a lifelong learner, never settling with the knowledge he already had. At the end of his day, he would be cruising around in the ranger or sitting in the hunting shed at Ralphs. The enjoyment he found in nature never wavered as his health declined and was evident in the intention with which he hunted.

As he battled kidney failure, Donald remained clever and thoughtful. A jokester, who talked and sang like Donald Duck, made up his own language, nicknames, and words (like Husqvarna and Aga-baga-dooby-naba-wooby) to make others laugh. He had an effortless way of making people feel special and his acts of kindness and generosity were often anonymous.

You always knew where you stood with Donald. He was annoyingly fair and never faltered in that. He loved a clean car, manicured lawn, and cheese curds of any kind.

Donald was a wonderful husband, dad, and grandpa. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

 Donald was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law, Maxine Whitt; brother, Jerry Burns and his wife, Judy; sister-in-law, Vickie Burns; and brother-in-law, Harry Wheeler.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy of the home; children, Tony Burns (Pam) of Smithville, MO, Katie Iddings of Pattonsburg, MO and Gina Holt (Jason) of Hamilton, MO and his beloved kidney donor, Michelle Torgerson (Jerry) of Kansas City, MO; grandchildren, Jacob, Lily, Gage, Addi, Annie and Grayson; siblings, Linda (Darrell) Critten of Gallatin, MO; Annie Wheeler of Cameron, MO, Larry Burns (Gwen) of Blue Springs, MO, Wendell Burns (Mary) of Gallatin, MO, and Mark Burns of Blue Springs, MO; sister-in-law Judy Joy Cameron, MO; several nieces, nephews and other extended family members also survive.

Instead of flowers, the family asks that you donate in care of the funeral home to 90.9 The Bridge or Midwest Transplant Network. To support their Songs from the Heart program efforts – to educate about the need for organ donation through storytelling and music.

A celebration of Donald’s life will be held at 11:00 on Monday, February 26, 2024, at the Stith Funeral Home in Gallatin.  The family will gather with friends from 5:00 to 7:00, on Sunday at the funeral home. Friends may call the funeral home after 2:00 on Sunday. A private family inurnment will be held later at the Civil Bend Christian Cemetery in Pattonsburg, MO. Arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of the Stith Funeral Home in Gallatin (660) 663-2117. 

Share To Your Social Network