William R. Burns, Jr., 80, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — William Raymond Burns, Jr., 80, Watertown, passed away Friday, March 29, 2019, at Samaritan Medical Center with his wife of 56 years, JoAnn, at his side.

Born Sept. 21, 1938, in Buffalo, NY, Bill was the only child of William R. Burns, Sr. and Mary Campbell Burns. The family moved to Newton Falls, N. Y. where Bill graduated from Clifton – Fine High School in 1956. He graduated in 1960 from Oswego State with a BS degree in industrial arts education.

It was at Oswego where he met his wife, JoAnn Marguerite Porecco of Utica, NY. Bill and JoAnn were married at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Utica on Aug. 25, 1962.

They moved to Watertown where Bill was an industrial arts teacher and driver ed instructor at General Brown School District from 1962 to 1969. In 1965 he earned his MS degree in education from Oswego State. From 1969 to 1994 he taught industrial arts and technology at Case Jr. High School for the Watertown City School District until his retirement. JoAnn also taught first grade for the Watertown District until her retirement two years after Bill.

The couple spent nearly 20 years during winter months in Sarasota, Florida. Bill enjoyed golfing in Northern New York during the summer months with golfing buddies and socializing over coffee with friends. Bill was a devout parishioner of Holy Family Church, a devoted husband and an avid Notre Dame sports fan. Like his favorite college team, Bill was a “Fighting Irishman” who privately and courageously battled metastatic cancer for the last several years of his life.

Bill is survived by his wife and JoAnn’s late sister Donna’s husband, Charles Meade of Florida, formerly of Syracuse. Others surviving him are long time friends Doug and Cherie Danforth of Clayton and their extended family.

There will be no calling hours. A funeral Mass will be said 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019, at Holy Family Church in Watertown with Father Steven Murray officiating. Arrangements are entrusted to Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown. A private burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Dewitt, NY, will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of William R. Burns, Jr. may be given to the Sisters of the Precious Blood, 400 Pratt St., Watertown, NY 13601.

Online condolences may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.