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Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth

5800 West 12th Street, Little Rock

Phone: 501-661-9111

Louie Dave Burns

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Published: January 4, 2013

Louie Dave " Speedy" Burns, 96, of Little Rock, passed away peacefully in his sleep New Year's Day, 2013 at home.

He was preceded in death by the love of his life for 55 years, his wife, Helen Ruth Burns; his parents, Callie Tenniswood Burns and Robert Murphy Burns; sisters, Beatrice McAlister and Carol May Lindsey; his brothers, Jesse James Burns, Robert Hubert Burns, and Harold Eugene Burns. He leaves to cherish his memory one daughter and son-in-law, Robin L. and Dr. Philip H. Johnson; two grandchildren, Katherine C. Johnson and Matthew C. Johnson, all of Little Rock; one sister, Patty Dean Burns Reid of Cabot, and a host of nieces, nephews, and others who continue to love him. He was the nephew of Dr. "Doc" William Milton Burns, (Uncle Mitt), previous mayor and chairman of North Little Rock Park Commission who oversaw the 870 acres donated and today named "Burns Park."

Mr. Burns served in the United States Navy Seabees in the South Pacific and Okinawa during World War II. He worked many years at Missouri Pacific Railroad. During the passenger train years, Mr. Burns worked as a carman and a brakeman. Before retirement, he worked at the North Little Rock Missouri Pacific Shops. He worked at Brown's Cookie Company; he was a truck driver, moving houses and other heavy hauling; he was a butcher, and as a boy, earned his nickname, "Speedy," by speeding around his hometown of Beebe delivering groceries. "Speedy" was an honorable, hardworking and gifted man who tenderly loved his family and friends; he built his family a home where they lived for over 45 years. He could build or fix anything and used those abilities to help others Mr. Burns was a past president (1964-65) and Lifetime Member Recipient of the Rosedale Optimist Club. During his term as president, he helped break ground with his own hands for the first ball field, beginning a community baseball program for children. He worked tirelessly clearing land, laying fence and building restrooms and a concession stand. He loved serving his community.

Mr. Burns was a member of Rosedale Baptist Church for over 50 years where he served as a Deacon and on the Building Committee. He was 32nd degree member of the Masonic Order, Mary Williams Lodge # 307 and member of the Scottish Rite. Even though Mr. Burns' body was beginning to fail him, his mind remained organized and alert. Even after he lost his eyesight, one could rely on his directions to travel accurately. His wit, sense of humor and vivid descriptions of past life events made visits an absolute joy for others. He will be sorely missed.

Grieving caregivers feeling a loss as well are Ms. Veronica Winfrey, Mrs. Shirley Steele and Ms. Lorene Turner. The family can never express their gratitude enough for the love these women provided as well as previous caregivers who touched his life. The family wishes a special thank you to Dr. Eric Bravo, Dr. Kathy Parnell and Dr. Robert Brewer for their special care. Thank you to Baptist Health 7B, and BRI Recuperative Care 7th floor as well.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the chapel of Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth, 5800 W. 12th St., Little Rock (501) 661-9111 with Rev. Raymond McAlister officiating. Interment will follow at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. Sunday until service time at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Macedonia Missionary Service, P.O Box 68, Polk City, Fla. 33868. To sign the online guestbook, go to

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josh sharp says...

It was an honor to have known Mr. Burns for the brief period that I did for the last two and a half years of his life, I wish I had the privilege of knowing him much longer than I did. His mind was an absolute treasure trove of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that even the most well-traveled of individuals could learn a lifetime from. I will never forget the day I met him, shortly after I had purchased the house he had built with his labor of love so many years before. The kind twinkle in his bright blue eyes, and the smile on his face, as he rolled up the driveway, and met the guy who was taking over the reigns of his prized home, where so much living had been done, and so much of his character left behind for so many others to enjoy.

It was obvious that a man of hard work and craftsmanship had poured his labor into the place, and the signs of what had been were, and still are here. Speedy was a stone mason of a caliber which I will never master- 66 years and the stone still sits as it was almost 7 decades ago- straight and tight, unsettled.

The conversations he and I had were instant, it was as though we had known each other for years, and I always looked forward to them.

Everywhere I look here, I see the trademark that was Louie and Helen Burns- members at the head of the Greatest Generation- whether I am fixing something in his barn outback, or baking a cake in the all-original 1940's kitchen- I hear the echoes of their lives, well lived here. He provided a beautiful home for his family, the place I now call home.

Thank you for being a great man, father, and American, Speedy Burns- you were a one-of-a-kind character that one is only lucky enough to meet once in a lifetime! You will be greatly loved and missed by all.. I hope I get to meet up with you one day again, maybe we can build something together on the other side.

Your friend, Josh.

January 4, 2013 at 7:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )



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