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Burns Funeral Homes of Levittown and Philadelphia – A proud partner with the U.S.A. Vietnam War Commemoration

by Maryanna S. Phinn

Burns Funeral Homes has served families and their loved ones since it was established on February 12th, 1939 in Philadelphia.

Recently, the family-owned and operated funeral homes hosted a special commemorative lapel pin ceremony at its Levittown site on that exact date – but 81 years later on February 12th, 2020 – to honor local Vietnam veterans and their families. “We just had our first commemoration pinning as representatives for the Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Partner program which thanks and honors veterans for their service dating from 1955 through 1975. We will host these events several times a year and they are open to all Vietnam veterans and their families,” says funeral director Robert J. “Bob” Burns, Jr.

Burns Funeral Homes is one of more than 11,000 local, state and national organizations that have partnered with the federal government’s program to assist the nation in honoring 6.2 million living Vietnam veterans and their families.

As of December 2019, Commemorative Partners, like Burns Funeral Homes, have helped communities publicly and individually thank nearly 2.6 million Vietnam veterans during 18,000 ceremonies similar to the event hosted by the funeral home in February.

“We also have special lunch programs for veterans and their families to learn about their benefits and what they are entitled to as a veteran. We call these ‘Lunch and Learn’ programs and they are free and open to all veterans,” says Bob. The next program is set for Tuesday, April 21st at 11:30am at Fisher’s Tudor House in Bensalem.

Service to the community and civic pride, like their work with local veterans, is an important aspect of the Burns Funeral Homes which are owned and managed by three generations of the Burns Family at three locations including Levittown and its locations in the Fishtown and Torresdale neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

“The loss of a loved one can be difficult and very emotional for everyone involved. We work hard to make sure that we make the experience comfortable with minimal stress. We try to cover all aspects of the funeral to ease the burden on the family,” says Bob, who works alongside his family of licensed funeral directors including uncles Gerard J. Burns and Joseph J. Burns, a sister Lisa J. Burns-Campbell and cousins Martin J. Burns, Joseph Scott Burns, Shannon E. Burns and intern Shamus F. Burns.

The original Burns Funeral Home in Fishtown was founded by their grandfather Martin Burns, Sr., who worked delivering ice and coal before becoming certified as a funeral director.

“Our grandfather delivered ice in the morning and coal at night. Many people knew him and trusted him in the neighborhood. In those days, people had funerals from their homes or in their parlors. He worked part time helping another funeral director before starting his own funeral home.”  The Burns grandparents converted two of their own homes into funeral homes which are the Fishtown and Torresdale locations today.

“Anyone that calls our funeral homes to notify us of someone’s passing will always speak to a Burns,” says Bob. “We all work at our three locations. No matter which location you call you will work with a Burns. We are truly the definition of family-owned and operated.”

Burns Funeral Homes provide customized funeral arrangements to address all needs. “We are a Catholic funeral home; however, we have years of experience working with all faith denominations and clergy from all religions. We provide comprehensive services from traditional full-service viewings and funerals to cremations, immediate burials, graveside services and memorial services. We’ve also handled services that are green or environmentally friendly and we’ve had burials at sea,” says Bob.  Burns Funeral Homes helps families with making arrangements for flowers, luncheons, obituaries, and all the necessary paperwork for Social Security and life insurance. Each of the funeral homes has state-of-the art audio/visual equipment for families that would like to show videos, play background music or share eulogies and words of remembrance.

“Our motto is ‘a tradition of comfort and sharing’ and that’s what we are dedicated to providing so families can honor, remember and celebrate the life of the deceased.”

Burns Funeral Homes are located at 1514 Woodbourne Road, Levittown and 1428 East Columbia Avenue and 9708 Frankford Avenue in Philadelphia.

To contact the Burns Funeral Homes, call 215-547-3040 in Levittown; 215-634-6858 for Columbia Avenue and 215-637-1414 for Frankford Avenue.

For more information about the Vietnam Veterans programs or to make a reservation for the next Lunch and Learn, call Bob Burns at 215-547-3040 or e-mail burnsfh@comcast.net.

PHOTO CAP:  From left, Bob Burns, Marty Burns, Shannon Burns, Scott Burns, and Shamus Burns.