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Pvt Donald Edward "Don" Burns
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Birth: Aug. 8, 1926
Santa Ana
Orange County
California, USA
Death: Nov. 15, 1993
Costa Mesa
Orange County
California, USA

When asked during the 1958-1959 school year at Costa Mesa High, "What was your biggest mistake?", Coach Burns replied, "......eating."

When the 1930 Federal Census was taken, Donald Edward Burns was only three years old. He was listed as a "lodger" with a Mr. and Mrs. James Watkins, who resided on Sycamore in Santa Ana, Orange County, California. James worked as a salesman for Edison Light and his wife, Olive, was a homemaker. It is possible, for whatever reason, Donald lived in foster care. No parents were mentioned.

By 1940, Donald was recorded as the son of Ray and Kathryn Saunders. It is not known if Kathryn was his biological mother or if he was adopted by the Saunders. The family lived on 22nd Street in Newport Beach. Ray worked a long forty-eight hour week as an electrician; Kathryn was a homemaker; and Donald was in the eighth grade.

On January 26, 1945, Donald enlisted as a Private in the Air Corps at Fort Macarthur in San Pedro, California. He was assigned to the Medical Administrative Corps (MAC). Donald's registration card states he had completed four years of high school; was then employed as a skilled metal worker; was single; and had no dependents.

Once discharged from the military service, Donald attended the University of Southern California and received a BA degree in 1950. In 1979, he completed the requirements for his Masters from Azusa Pacific University.

Donald began his thirty-one year teaching and coaching career in 1953 at Newport Harbor High in Newport Beach, California. He taught mathematics, physical education, and was a football coach. In 1959, the newly built Costa Mesa High School opened its doors, so Donald accepted a teaching position there and again, he coached football. He moved on to Estancia High at some point, where he was the track coach. Coach Burns continued working for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District until his retirement in 1984.

Besides being an educator, Donald was a lifeguard in Newport Beach for forty-seven years. He was once described as a "landmark, like the Newport Pier." He was known to be a happy person, who was always smiling.

Donald died from a heart arrhythmia, leaving behind his loving wife, a daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren to mourn his passing.

Links to Find-A-Grave memorials of some other Newport Harbor High school graduates and teachers can be found listed with Lt. Kent Anderson, class of 1962:

Lieutenant Kent Anderson - Class of 1962


 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Edward H Burns (1899 - 1965)
  Kathryn Elizabeth Ainslie Saunders (1906 - 1970)
 
Burial:
Pacific View Memorial Park
Corona del Mar
Orange County
California, USA
 
Created by: Jo-Ann
Record added: Jul 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93563094
Pvt Donald Edward Don Burns
Added by: Jo-Ann
 
Pvt Donald Edward Don Burns
Added by: Jo-Ann
 
Pvt Donald Edward Don Burns
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Kelly
 
 
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- Georgeanne
 Added: Feb. 7, 2017

- Georgeanne
 Added: Jan. 23, 2017

- Georgeanne
 Added: Dec. 15, 2016
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