It saddens me greatly to inform those of you that may not have known about Brother Gregory J. Burns’ passing. Brother Greg, 53 died at his home from natural causes on Friday, August 3, 2012.
For those of you who knew Greg well, it is an honor to have an opportunity to share some of my thoughts about the man. Greg, or commonly know as “Flame”, to many of his close friends, was a simple, hard working man who preferred to just do his thing, be left alone and let others stand in the spotlight and take all the attention. Greg was a very active member of Huntertown Lodge and was always the one guy who you never had to worry if he would be there to perform his duties. Greg would be the last guy to ever stand up and speak in Lodge, but one the first to offer to work.
Greg was the type of guy who preferred to do the behind the scenes work, which really was the foundation of every successful endeavor we have done as Brothers. Much like Greg’s actual frame or build, he was part of the strong, solid foundation of our Lodge which all of us could count on to build from. I along with three others brothers from our Lodge had the opportunity to honor and pay our last respects to Brother Greg, “Flame” one last time before he was permanently laid to rest.
Brothers Bobby Wad, Kurt Begue, Jim Bishop and I made the trip up to Greg’s home town of Janesville, Wisconsin for the Masonic Funeral Service held on Friday August 10th at 9:00 am. We decided to depart Thursday morning so we could assure ourselves not to be late for Friday morning’s early service. Brother Peter Seim, one of Greg’s lifetime best friends and also a fellow Mason from Summit City Lodge #170, along with their close friend Jim, were kind enough to invite us to share in some great stories and memories of Greg on Thursday night at a local Pub. Thank you gentleman, for the great hospitality that you showed us.
Friday morning’s Masonic Service was given by Brother Tom Walton, Worshipful Master of Janesville Western Star Lodge #55. Many other local Lodges were also in attendance. Brother Tom gave the Wisconsin Masonic Memorial Service which is a bit shorter somewhat more personalized version of our own.
It was an informative and respectful eulogy that was a great tribute to Greg’s life as a Mason. As Brother Tom gave Greg’s Masonic history he articulately explained the working tools relating to that degree and how Greg was taught to apply them to his everyday life. It was a beautiful eulogy that not only honored Greg’s life as a working Mason, but our fraternity as a whole.
On behalf of Huntertown Lodge #689 we would like to thank Janesville Western Star #55 and Worshipful Brother Tom Walton for giving Greg’s Masonic Service.
We would also like to thank Morningstar Lodge #151, Milton Lodge #161, Jefferson County Lodge #9, all of Wisconsin and Summit City Lodge #170 in Fort Wayne, who were also in attendance to hold the service. And a special thanks to Kurt Begue who offered to take us up there from our home Lodge in Huntertown. Thank you all for your coming to pay you final respects. We believe there were around 24 of us fellow Masons there to say good-bye to our fallen Brother Greg Burns which I thought was truly a great honor to his name and a testament to the kind of man we all knew.
I was deeply humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to know “Flame” Greg Burns and I assure you that he will be truly missed and never forgotten. Take care, my Brother and rest in peace.
Andrew J. Holman SD
Huntertown Lodge #689