1935 – 2017
LEWISTON — Robert Arthur Burns Sr., 81, of Auburn, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 11, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
He was born May 23, 1935, in Lewiston, to Charles Leo and Florence (Sawyer) Burns. Bob graduated from Edward Little High School in 1954 and served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, before returning home to marry the love of his life, Louann Coutts, in January 1958. They would be celebrating 59 years of marriage next week. Bob retired in 1991 after a 34-year career at Central Maine Power. He didn’t like to stay put for long, though, so retirement was short. He worked at Antoine Rubber, Western Maine Transportation, and was employed as a driver for Community Concepts at the time of his death.
Bob was an active member of the IBEW union for many, many years and he was a dedicated Democrat. He campaigned fiercely for local, state and national Democrats, as well as for universal health care and other causes he believed in. He was a tireless contributor to the L-A community, acting as a Scout leader and Little League coach, and organizing fundraisers and events for the Auburn Democratic Committee, of which he was vice chairman for more than two decades.
Pup, as he was known to many, loved traveling and spent summers in his motor home with Louann, working at campgrounds and state parks all over the United States. They sometimes even brought along their grandchildren whom he loved immensely. He was happiest outdoors, either cutting wood or hiking in search of a new waterfall. He loved roller coasters and seized every chance he had to ride one. He was a lifelong fan of the Red Sox, Giants and Patriots, and he never missed an ELHS football game. He was a fixture at community sporting and cultural events, attending all of his grandchildren’s games, concerts, plays and award ceremonies. As former state Sen. Emily Cain said, Pup was “Auburn’s grandfather.”
He leaves behind his wife, Louann; and his children, Robert “Robby” Burns Jr., Laurie (Plourde) Doucette and her husband, Marcel, and Randall “Tiger” Burns and his wife, Juanelle; as well as his daughters-in-law, Belinda Kerr and Elaine Guay. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Brooke (Plourde) Dupuy and her husband, Yann, Robyn (Plourde) Adkins and her husband, Joe, Ryan Benson and his girlfriend, Becky, Jayme (Burns) Filloon and her husband, Ryan, Tamara Benson and her partner, Jason Purington, Grady Burns and his fiancée, Kirsten Lamiette, and Christopher Lowe; as well as eight great-grandchildren. He will also be greatly missed by his sisters, Joyce Capen, Sandra Leavitt and her husband Gard, Evelyn Dulac, Elaine Levesque and her husband, Ray; and his brother, Charles Burns, in addition to extended family and countless friends.
He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Richard; and sisters, Marion Davis and Beverly Ames.