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William R. Burns, 71, a retired quality control engineer and Catholic deacon, died Thursday (Sept. 21, 2000) in Niagara Hospice.

Born in Buffalo, he served in the Navy from 1946 to 1953 and earned an associate degree in business from Niagara Community College.

A longtime Sanborn resident, Burns was a quality control engineer at Bell Aerospace Corp. for 23 years before moving to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and later the City of Niagara Falls Water Department, from which he retired.

He was ordained a deacon in 1984 and served at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Pendleton and St. Teresa's and Prince of Peace parishes in Niagara Falls. He also was chaplain at Northgate Manor Health Care Facility and several hospitals.

Burns enjoyed gardening, camping and traveling.

Surviving are his wife, the former Patricia A. Rogers; four daughters, Kathleeen Prior of West Seneca, Mary Beth O'Neil of Amherst, Bonnie Mineweaser of North Tonawanda and Teri Brannen of Amherst; two sons, Michael of Lockport and Thomas of Virginia Beach, Va.; four sisters, Esther Schulmeister of Niagara Falls, Margaret Mellors of Amsterdam, Mary Anna Rappleyea and Shirley Hurst, both of the City of Tonawanda; a brother, James of California; and 13 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Payne Avenue at Ward Road, North Tonawanda, after prayers at 9:15 in the Saber Funeral Home, 549 Oliver St., North Tonawanda. Entombment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.

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