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Donald Lee Burns, Sr.

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On Sept. 12, 2019, Donald Lee Burns, Sr., loving husband, dad and granddad entered into eternal rest at the age of 70.
Donald was born in Denton July 13, 1949 to Leroy and Damaris Burns. He attended La Puenta High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Nov. 24, 1968 serving during the Vietnam War.
On Jan. 3, 1970 he married the love of his life, Brenda Fleischer at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, Calif. They lived in Hawaii in the first year of marriage then moved to Fort Hood in Killeen until 1971.
After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army they began their journey in California, as he worked as a mechanic for a fleet service. Soon adding to their family, a son and a daughter.
In 1989, their lives led them to Henderson County where he worked for a cabinet shop, drove an eighteen wheeler and then worked at Solar Turbines as a refurbish technician before retiring at the age of 62.
Don adored his family and friends dearly and would do anything to lend a helping hand or make them smile, even if it was playing games we had to trick him into playing.
He loved God with all of his heart and was a great influence and mentor to many.
Don enjoyed traveling, riding motorcycles, surfing in his younger years, woodwork and anything mechanical. He had a passion for flying and he obtained his private pilot license in Athens June 30, 1990.
Don is survived by his wife Brenda Burns, son Donald Burns, Jr. and fiance Joni Smith of Eustace, daughter Sheri Labelle and husband Bryan Labelle of McKinney, grandchildren Dustin Meadows and wife AJ, Skye Burns, Kathleen Grundt, Angela Labelle and Joey Labelle, sisters Tommie Smith of Payne Springs and Becky Moore of Hemet, Calif., and also by numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, we would prefer plants or donations to the building fund of St. Peter Lutheran Church of Gun Barrel City located at 130 Luther Lane, Gun Barrel City, Texas 75156 (903) 887-0436 or their website at
A personal tribute can be made online at