July 14, 1940 - June 10, 2020

John T. Burns, Esq., passed away on June 10, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19 after a long and agonizing battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. John, who was born on July 14, 1940, was son to the late Kathleen (Coleman) and George V. Burns, Sr, formerly of West Roxbury and East Dennis. Beloved husband of the late Roberta (Abrams). John and Roberta were married for 40+ years, until 2008 when Roberta lost her battle to lung cancer. John and Roberta settled in Revere (Roberta’s hometown) where they raised their family. Caring brother of George V. Burns Jr. of West Roxbury, Kathleen and her husband Vincent Ryan of West Roxbury, Mary Guiney of Canton and her late husband Ken Walsh, the late Helen Doyle and her husband the late Joseph Doyle of Scituate, and James of Pompano Beach, FL and his ex-wives the late Janet and the late Diana. Loving father of George and his wife, Marifrances Morrison, of Raleigh, NC, and John Jr. of Revere. Also survived by three adoring grandchildren, Madison, Michael and John of Raleigh, NC and many loving nieces and nephews. John, a native Bostonian, lived with his family in Hyde Park, then moving to West Roxbury. From an early age, John was always active in sports, but as a child he particularly loved basketball. It was as a result of John’s basketball exploits for his CYO basketball team at St. Thomas More in Braintree that John’s older sister Kathleen, was introduced to her future husband Vincent Ryan, John’s CYO basketball coach. (Rumor has it that the only reason Coach Vincent Ryan kept John on his team was to get a date with Kathleen). John attended Roslindale High School, graduating in 1959. While at Rozzie High, John played football, basketball and baseball, being named as the school’s “Most Athletic” student. (It has been reported, although not confirmed, from a (mostly) reliable source that while at Rozzie High, John was a member of the military cadets, attaining the rank of captain, the key club, as well as being involved with student government.) After graduating from Rozzie High, John traveled across the country to attend New Mexico State University-Las Cruces on a football scholarship. However, being far from home and missing his friends and family, John returned to Boston, eventually graduating from Calvin Coolidge College, located in the Beacon Hill section of Boston. After graduating from college, John attended Portia Law School (now New England Law), also located in Beacon Hill. It was while at law school that John met his future wife, and the love of his life, Roberta, who was working as a secretary at the school. Upon John’s graduation from law school, he passed the Bar Examination and in 1969 he was admitted to the practice of law in Massachusetts. John went on to have a 40+ year career as a prominent criminal defense attorney, zealously (and often colorfully) representing his clients in courtrooms throughout Greater Boston. During his many years of practice, John was not held to be in contempt of court in the great majority of his many cases. When his advocacy was needed to defend juveniles accused of committing a crime, John could be heard in the hallways of the various Suffolk County Courthouses lecturing the various juveniles to, “Remain in school”, “Stay away from drugs”, and to “Not speak to anyone.” In his spare time, John was an avid sports fan, with a love of all Boston’s sports teams, especially the Celtics. In fact, as a younger man, John would frequently sneak into the old Boston Garden to watch the Celtics’ games for free. John also was a fan of high school and college sports. Over the years he attended many of St. Dominic Savio’s High School football games and John always looked forward to their annual Thanksgiving Day game played at East Boston Stadium. During the 20+ years he attended Savio’s Thanksgiving Day’s games, John tirelessly worked at perfecting his Bloody Mary recipe, which he unveiled every year at the pre-game tailgate. His tailgates were always lively affairs, attended by many friends, supporters and alumni of Savio Football. John was also a regular at Stonehill College’s football games, traveling all over New England and New York to cheer on the Chieftains (now Skyhawks). In fact, during a 4-year stretch in the mid-to-late 1980’s, John only missed 2 games, and that was because he attended weddings for 2 of his beloved nieces. Other than competitive sports, John loved to go fishing off Cape Cod with his father and other family members. John also loved spending time on Cape Cod and spending long days with his family at Corporation Beach followed with a dip in Scargo Lake. John was the long-time Grand Poobah of Camp Ding-a-ling, which was an annual family gathering held on Jericho Lane, East Dennis. Funeral from the Paul Buonfiglio & Sons-Bruno Funeral Home 128 Revere St, Revere on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 9:00am. Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church at 10:00am. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. A visitation will be held on Monday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Interment Woodlawn Cemetery. Donations may be made in John’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452.

Share your Memorial with Family & Friends !