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William F. Burns, longtime Buffalo teacher, veteran; May 2, 1935 -- April 29, 2012

William F. Burns, a Buffalo teacher for nearly 40 years, died Sunday in his Lancaster home. He was 76.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Burns was a graduate of Don Bosco College of New Jersey and earned his master's degree from Canisius College.

He joined the Buffalo Public Schools in 1961, teaching Latin at Riverside High School. He later taught English and literature, working at Grover Cleveland, Kensington, Woodlawn Junior High and Bennett evening schools.

He was named Buffalo Schools Teacher of the Year in 1975 and retired in 1999. Mr. Burns was a past member of the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the National Education Association.

Mr. Burns was fluent in a number of languages, including Latin, Greek, Italian, Russian and German. He put his talent to use when he served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1960. He was a Russian linguist with the Army Security Agency.

He was a member of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Elma. He also was a member of the Lancaster Moose and Bill Adams Martial Arts.

He is survived by his wife, the former Marilynn Linneborn; a daughter, Karen Lezynski; two sons, Kevin and Kenneth; and a brother, John.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today in St. Gabriel Church, 5271 Clinton St., Elma.