~ Frank Wesley Burns III~
July 16, 1923 – June 15, 2022
Frank Wesley Burns III – adored father, grandfather, great grandfather, and uncle – passed away June 15, 2022, surrounded by love on Whidbey Island. Born to Pearl Lydia McCarthy and Frank Wesley Burns II in Kauai, Hawaii on July 16, 1923, he grew up in Hawaii and graduated from St Louis High School in 1942. His life was adventure filled. From January to September 1942, he spent his weekdays in school and weekends working for the overnight Honolulu harbor patrol as part of Coast Guard Auxiliary following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He captained his Uncle Guy Rothwell’s Ehukai boat through the Molokai channel to the Kalaupapa Colony to deliver essential food and supplies to people afflicted with Hansen’s disease while the territory of Hawaii was under Martial Law. He loved Hawaii and lived with aloha throughout his life. Childhood memories include eating lots of poi, surfing, fishing, and spending time with his many cousins.
After attending two quarters at the University of Washington, where he rowed Crew under the Huskies iconic Al Ulbrickson Sr, and met his future wife, Dorothy Ayres, he was drafted into the Army in 1943. As a member of the 42nd Infantry Division (Rainbow), 242 Regiment, “I” Company, he was a liberator of Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp. His story can been seen in this video: https://vimeo.com/276086978
Upon discharge in 1946, he returned to his studies at the UW, married Dorothy, and earned a M.S. of Mechanical Engineering. During his subsequent 50-plus-year career at Boeing, he worked on many significant projects, from Cold War defense systems to NASA’s Apollo missions to public transit.
Frank’s marriage to Dorothy Ayres Burns lasted a few months shy of 70 years before she preceded him in death. Frank is survived by his children James (Ruth), Catherine Weeks and Gail LaVassar (John); grandchildren Sarah and Joseph Raiden, and Nick LaVassar (Laurie) and Amanda Magee (Christian); great-grandchildren Andrew, Matthew, Jordan and Isiah Raiden, and Jack, Milo, and Emmy LaVassar. Frank loved his family deeply. He enjoyed spending time at the family cabin on Cultus Bay, traveling, meeting new people, curling, swimming, cooking a good breakfast, and writing his memoir.
Frank lived 98 years plus 11 months of a great life. He lived by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” People often asked him if he had a secret of longevity to which he would refer to the adage of “use it or lose it.” Everyone who knew him felt that they had a special connection with Frank, which they did. He spent the last three years of his life at Maple Ridge Assisted Living on Whidbey Island where he was known for always having a smile on his face and where he developed many new friendships including his special friend Sally Kayser. He will forever be remembered for his quick wit, humor, determination, and loving heart. Although he can’t add more time to the 51,929,280 minutes he graced this earth, his infectious laugh and the twinkle in his eye will live on forever in our memories.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
A celebration of life will be held on
Wednesday, June 22nd
from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
You are invited to come at any time.
1515 E Shoreview Dr., Freeland.
Burial service at 11:30 am, June 23rd at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle.
Remembrance in Frank’s name may be made to Readiness to Learn