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Winston J "Bootsie" Burns, Sr. passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, December 22, 2016. He was 92 years of age. He was the devoted son of Leona and George Burns. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leona and George Burns and his brother, Dr. Leonard Burns. He leaves to cherish his memory, his devoted wife, Gretta Roque Burns; his daughter, Roxanne Burns Gueno and his sons, Ronald V. Burns, Sr. (Sheila); Burton E. Burns (Constance); Brian Burns (Stacie); and Winston Burns, Jr. (Wendy). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Ronald Burns, Jr.; Jason Burns (Bridget); Amber Anderson ( Sylvester); Christy Burns; Damon Burns; Erin Burns; Brittany Burns; Brian Burns, Jr.; Dominique Burns; Brandon Gueno (Sarah); Shannon Phillips (Don); Trenton Gueno; and Blair Burns and eight grandchildren.
Winston J. Burns, Sr. was a graduate of Xavier University Preparatory High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Xavier University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corp and was a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict. He recently received the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama for his service as a Montford Point Marine during WWI. It is the nation's highest civilian award.
Winston worked in the New Orleans public school system at Lockett Elementary, Carter G. Woodson Jr. High School, Gregory Jr. High School and Booker T. Washington High School. At Woodson and Booker T. Washington, he was head coach of the track and football teams where he won numerous championships. He was a mentor for countless young men whom he taught and coached. Leading by example, he taught them the value of education and hard work. Many of his former players went on to play professionally. Winston also worked in the adult education program. After retiring from the school system, he worked in New Orleans Juvenile Court for 25 years. He was a member of Xavier prep Alumna Association, the Townsmen Social and Pleasure Club and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.
Pastor and members of St. Raymond & St Leo the Great Catholic Church, the St. Augustine High School family, members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and members of the Veterans' Association are invited to attend a mass of Christian burial on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at10:00 am. Visitation is from 8:00am to 10:00 am. Rosary at 9:15am. Reverend Anthony M. Bozeman, SSJ will officiate. Interment will be at St. Louis Cemetery No. 3. Arrangements by D. W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 3933 Washington Ave.