V.W. "Billy" Burns

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

V.W. "Billy" Burns Jr., 64, of rural Vernon County, passed away Sunday, March 16, 2014, at Landmark Hospital, in Columbia, Mo., after a courageous battle with the aftereffects of Agent Orange exposure. He was surrounded by family. Billy was born to Virgil Willie Burns Sr. and Minnie Marie Purtle Burns on April 17, 1949, at the family farm home in Black Jack, Mo. At the age of seven months he moved with his family to a farm south of Dedrick, Mo. He attended school in El Dorado Springs, and graduated from El Dorado Springs High School in 1967.

Billy loved baseball and played through childhood, high school, and even into adulthood. A Cardinals fan to the core, he always maintained a detailed knowledge of the game. In January of 1970 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam from June of 1970 to June of 1971. He was honorably discharged in January of 1972 with three Bronze Stars and an Expert Badge with Rifle Bar. When he returned home, Bill returned to farming, raising livestock and crops. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Nevada.

On April 9, 1998, he married Susan Abele in Miami, Okla., and was welcomed by her three children into the family. Bill is survived by his wife, Susan, and her three children, Erica Peterson and husband, Cade, of Pukwana, S.D., Tyler Abele and wife, Sarah, of Springfield, Mo., and Cole Abele, of rural Vernon County; two grandchildren, Memphis and Rory Peterson; three sisters, Minnie Pummill and husband, Larry, of Sedalia, Mo., Joan Burns, of Brighton, Mo., and Marilyn Munckton and husband, Steve, of Blue Springs, Mo.; one brother, Laverne Burns, of Lamar, Mo.; and nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceding him in death were his parents and grandparents.

Services are planned at 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 21, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Nevada. The family receives friends between 5 and 7 p.m., Thursday, March 20, at Ferry Funeral Home with a prayer service planned at 6 p.m.

Contributions may be made in Billy's name to St. Paul Lutheran Church or the Vernon County Youth Fair in care of Ferry Funeral Home.

View obituary and send condolences online at www.ferryfuneralhome.com.