1958 - May 12, 2012
David Harold Burns was born Sept. 11, 1958, in Alexander City, Ala., to Jennie Ruth and Harold Junior Burns. He was one of five children born to this union. David grew up in the south, living in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas before moving to Colorado. His family permanently settled in Craig in 1971. David attended what was then Craig Junior High School and Moffat County High School. While in high school, David participated and excelled in sports such as football, basketball, bowling and track. He was a member of the MC Letterman Club, Student Council and the Foreign Language Club. He was voted junior class prom king and NW League split end. He wrote a sports column for his high school newspaper and Craig’s local newspaper, the Empire Courier. He graduated in 1977 and was named Best Dressed by fellow classmates. David attended Mesa College and played football for the Mesa Mavericks before returning to Craig. In November 1982, he married Victoria (Vicki) Marks. Their family grew in 1983 when older sisters Tari and Jenifer welcomed home a baby brother, David Jarrod. David worked at many jobs, including Coca Cola of Craig, Streeter Trucking and Union Carbide, but found his passion when he was hired by Eagle Empire Mine in early 1980 to be an underground coal miner. His mining career included being certified as a firebox and an underground shotfirer in November 1986 and achieving underground foreman certification from the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Mines in August 1987. At 29, he was one of the youngest miners to achieve these certifications. He was given several awards during his years of service for his creative thinking and positive suggestions in helping improve mining equipment and implementing ideas. He worked at Empire Energy Coal Mine for 15 years before a workplace accident permanently injured his lungs, forcing him to retire early and putting him on disability. In the fall of 1995, David enrolled at Colorado Northwestern Community College and in May 1997 earned an associate's of arts degree. David loved all types of music — most notably gospel and Elvis — writing, hunting, fishing and watching all sports that included a ball. Although he never got the big bull elk of his dreams, he enjoyed the time he spent with his son and brother-in-law, Roy, looking for the trophy elk and bringing home the many deer they successfully harvested. He played guitar and wrote a few songs over the years. He recently wrote a book and hoped to have it published someday. David loved the Lord and his family. Family gatherings at his mom’s home were among his most loved memories. Regardless of the day’s activities or disagreements, he ended each day with an “I love you,” and patiently waited for the same from whomever he was talking with, whether on the phone or in person. David was a true Southern gentleman, strong in so many ways, yet gentle, kind, compassionate, loving, caring and, most of all, forgiving. As complicated as his life became due to health issues, David stayed simple and true to himself and others. He truly was a rare person in today’s world. He loved all his pets and could name every one of them from his childhood to his passing. David loved Craig and often spoke of this always being his home regardless of where the family may have considered moving for better weather due to his lung problems. David died Saturday, May 12, 2012. He leaves behind his wife, Vicki, of Craig; children Tari (William) King, of New York, Jenifer Marks, of New York, and David Jarrod, of Craig; sisters Vicky Shenk, Dena (Roy) Garcia and Debbie (Carl) Gross, all of Craig; granddaughter Grace Ann King, of New York; mother-in-law Ann Schaefer and brother-in-law Nick (Rita) Schaefer, all of Lake Wales, Fla.; sister-in-law Judith (Scott) Gault, of Watkinsville, Ga.; and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Burns and Jennie Ruth (Momma Ruth) Allen; father-in-law S.J. Schaefer; sister Jean Thompson; nephew Waylon Owens; and niece Stephanie Gandy. Our lives have been saddened by his leaving, our memories many, he is finally breathing easy and enjoying eternity with his maker. He will be missed by his family, many friends and acquaintances throughout his life, but nonetheless by his faithful pets, Joey and Una B. Memorial services were Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at First Congregational Church with his high school friend Pastor Leonard Browning officiating. Musical renditions of “Amazing Grace,” “The Rose,” “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother,” and “Wind Beneath My Wings” were performed or played. Memorial donations may be made to First Congregational Church, the Moffat County Fuller Center for Housing or Moffat County Humane Society, in care of Grant Mortuary.