Delbert S. Burns, 95, formerly of Wausau, passed away on December 9, 2010, at the home of his daughter Nancy in Manitowish Waters, surrounded by his loving family, while his youngest granddaughter played the harp for him and snow gently fell outside his window. He was born on October 18, 1915 in Kensel, North Dakota to James and Jessie (Lenhof) Burns. When he was six months old the family moved back to Wausau, where he grew up on the family farm east of town. At the age of ten, he was already driving a team of horses into Wausau with loads of firewood to sell.
On August 9, 1941 he was united in marriage to Alyce Nutter at St. James Catholic Church in Wausau. They were married for 58 years until her passing in November of 1999.
Del, or "Daddy Del" as his great-grandchildren called him, was a very special man who loved his family and cared deeply about friends and those who he worked with over the years. As the eldest of six children he helped to support his family during the Depression. He worked for Cloverbelt Cooperative Services for 41 years, starting as a truck driver and rising to become General Manager in 1951. He entered the army and served during World War II from 1942 until 1944, when he returned to his family and his job at Cloverbelt.
He served as Chairman of the Board of Midland Cooperatives in Minneapolis and was instrumental in the merging of Midland with Land O'Lakes Cooperative, served on the Land O'Lakes Board of Directors and the board of Mutual Service Insurance Company, was a member of the Governor's Railroad Service Advisory Committee, Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives, Cooperative League of the USA, the Petroleum Resources Board, Energy Cooperative Inc. of Chicago, the Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce, Central Wisconsin Progress, and the Marathon County Private Industry Council. In addition, he was a member of the North Central Wisconsin Alzheimer's Association Board and facilitated a support group. He also was a member of DAV, the Knights of Columbus, the Serra Club, and the Thomas Moore Club.
Del is survived by children John (Maddie) Burns of Dallas, Texas, James (Jean) Burns of Waukesha, WI, Patrick (Ann) Burns of Houston, Texas, Nancy Burns of Manitowish Waters, Mary (John Bates) of Manitowish, daughter-in-law Sheila Burns of Appleton and foster son Mike Cornish of Charlotte, NC. He is survived by grandchildren Kathy Mayer, Kelly (Troy) Cross, Jessica (John) Peterson, Shannon (Chad) Evenson, Shawn (Shannon) Burns, Chris Cornish, Craig Cornish, Eric Cornish, Heather (Marcus) Greenspan, Nicole (Marcus) Dominguez, Megan (Mike) McAuliffe, Eowyn (Christopher Croom) Bates and Callie Bates; and great-grandchildren Matthew Mayer, Patrick, Isabelle and Gabrielle Dominguez, Skye and Bryce Cross, Karalyn Peterson, McKinley and Tyler Evenson, Aaron Greenspan, and Madison Grace Burns. He was also considered an "adopted father" to many dear friends.
Besides his wife and parents, Del was proceeded in death by daughters Colleen and Kathleen, brothers Earl, Ernest and Leo (Carmen) Burns, sisters Dorothy (John) Arlen and Marcielle (William) Goytowski.
The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday December 14, 2010 at The Church of St. Anne, Wausau. Rev. Steven Brice will preside. Burial will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau, where full Military Honors will conducted.. Friends may call on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church.
The family would like to thank his incredible caregivers, especially Peggy Bronsberg of Marshfield Clinic – Mercer, Deb Schumaker of Northern Lights Therapy, Dr. Kate Home Hospice staff, and in-home caregivers Warren, Noreen and Ruth. Special thanks to Daisy Cortright and Nancy Petulla for their love and support. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society or Church of St. Anne, Wausau are appreciated
Online condolences may be expressed at www.petersonkraemer.com