July 10, 1946 – May 21, 2022

Once in a great while, remarkable people quietly enter this world and live quiet lives, quietly helping others and quietly changing this tired old world. They don’t draw attention to themselves, don’t long for the spotlight, but humbly go about serving others, working hard, creating laughter and making our world a little richer. Terry Burns was one of those rare individuals.

If you were fortunate, you enjoyed one of Terry’s friendships he nurtured for decades, growing older together, helping one another as age introduced problems and sorrows, holding one another up. If you were exceedingly fortunate, he was either your son, father, grandfather, husband or brother—growing up surrounded by his corny jokes, loving attention, quiet wisdom, steady advice and great laugh.

Terry was generous with his time and attention: a rare commodity. He was eager to help anyone who requested his assistance but somehow never asked for it in return. Though he could solve any mechanical or construction problem with his amazing engineering-mind, he was drawn toward deep relationships with others. Endlessly loyal, he was an unmovable rock among us: fun to be around yet unflappable, patient, unfailingly kind, calm in any situation.

Born to Jim and Grace Burns in Denver, he learned his work ethic at an early age by meeting with his brother and other friends each morning in the garage behind their house, rolling newspapers and taking off on their bikes to distribute both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News before heading to school. He enthusiastically participated in school activities, even performing the Lead in “Oklahoma” in 9th grade, singing in the choir in both high school and college and, of course, working side jobs while successfully maintaining great grades.

Terry graduated from Aurora High School in 1964 and moved north to study Engineering at CSU, graduating with his degree in 1968. While in school there, he worked part time at Safeway during the semester then at Coors in Golden during the summer months, all the while collecting lifetime friends. He joined the Air National Guard shortly after graduating then married and began his family in Denver.

In 1975, now a single dad of two boys, he moved south to Colorado Springs and embraced an opportunity as a Civil Engineer at Fort Carson, a job he loved throughout the remainder of his working years and even beyond customary retirement age. He met and married Bj Burns in 1984 and together they melded their four children into a new family, enjoyed traveling to Europe and numerous cruises. They purchased a mountain cabin in 1985 and their weekend trips with the boys created many lasting memories.

In addition to the numerous roles in his ever-growing family, he loved to garden, cared for the wild birds and deer that surrounded their home, became a “bowler-extraordinaire”, challenged his mind with Suduko, voraciously read books, and collected new jokes to share. Most admirable of all, he was fiercely protective of those he loved, even when he didn’t agree with their choices.

Of all his many attributes, the one that sums Terry Burns best is that he had a “Servants Heart”.

Survived by his mother, Grace, brother Mike and his wife Karen, sister Pat and her husband Jeff, his wife Bj of 38 years, four sons: Leon Keith Edling and his wife Mayumi, Kevin Edling and his wife Stacey, Steven Burns and his wife Nancy, James Burns and his wife Jessica Leatherman, 10 nieces and nephews, 17 great-nieces and nephews and 9 delightful grandchildren.

A Military Honors Service will be held June 20, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Pikes Peak Veterans Cemetery at 10545 Drennan Rd, Colorado Springs, followed at 2:00 p.m. with the Memorial Service and Reception at the Shrine of Remembrance located at 1730 Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs.

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This Obituary Has One Condolence

  1. The Buckley SFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for Mr. Burn’s service to our country in the military. From the obituary it appears Mr. Burns may have retired from the military. If so, and you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance & Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Veterans Affairs (VA), etc. you can contact our office on Buckley SFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Steve Young Lt Col, USAF, Ret Director, Buckley SFB RAO

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