Thursday, December 18, 2008

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race -- Dr. W.C. (Buddy) Burns, tribute and obituary

We lost a dear friend here in our Bentwater, Texas, Subdivision. Buddy Burns died this Sunday morning at his desk reviewing for his sermon he was to preach later at the Church of the North Shore of Montgomery, Texas.

I have been knowing Buddy personally for about two years through the Bentwater Tuesday Morning Bible Study which he led. Buddy was a good friend to all here and we hit if off good. I knew of him when he came and had been knowing his son before he came. I did not attend the church he led but did attend a Christmas Eve service once.

I was also fortunate in getting to know his daughter-in-law and grandson who went with us to Guatemala on our October mission trip. They are fine examples of Christians. I found after we had met that they read my blog from time to time.

His Obituary with picture courtesy of the
Conroe Courier:

Funeral service for Dr. WC (Buddy) Burns, 71 of Willis will be held on Friday, December 19, 2008 at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist. Interment will follow in Garden Park Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, December 18, 2008 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Cashner Funeral Home.

Dr. Burns was born on June 28, 1937 in Cherry Valley, Arkansas and went to be with our Lord on December 13, 2008 after suffering a massive heart attack at home. Dr. Burns was very proud to be the Pastor of North Shore Church, a father and a grandfather. Dr. Burns set an example of loving his God, living his life by biblical principles and always sharing the good news of his risen Savior.

Dr. W C (Buddy) Burns is survived by his daughters, Janet Burns Turner and husband Lester of Alexandria, Louisiana and Joy Burns Cates and husband Troy of Porter, Texas; sons, Terry Burns and wife Lee Ann of Riverdale, Michigan and Gary Burns and wife Karen of Conroe, Texas; his sisters, Harriet (Burns) Carwell of Cherry Valley, Arkansas, and Julia (Burns) Snelson of El Paso, Texas; his grandchildren, Darianne, Lynlee, Carley, Katie, Claire, Reagan, Chandler, Brandon, Luke, Ethan, Jacob, and Abigail; he is preceded in death by his wife, Arrie Beth Burns. Numerous other relatives and friends also survive. Pallbearers will be the men of North Shore Church.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to North Shore Church in memory of Dr. W C (Buddy) Burns, 410 Camden Hills West, Montgomery, Texas 77356.

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Testimony regarding Buddy:

From friend, Joe

Our pastor, Dr. W. C. “Buddy” Burns, went home to be with the Lord Saturday, December 13, 2008. He was found at home sitting in his study chair at his desk, very close to 2 years from the day that his wife passed away.

These are some thoughts that came to mind and heart, as I pondered his impact in our lives. If you didn’t know him, you can rest assured that the fact that you didn’t know him only meant one thing: He never had a chance to be within talking range of you.

Buddy Burns was, among many other virtues, a good and Godly man and friend. Not everyone can have that said about them.

How can you fully describe someone that was “larger than life” in such a “small package” with a “huge heart”?

Forgive this feeble, inadequate effort to put to paper some feelings about our friend and pastor, Buddy.

A serious soul, even when he was joking; yet remaining a delightful soul, even when he was sober and serious.

A childish, juvenile, adult --- in the best of ways.

Insatiable. A sponge. He had an ear to hear, better than it seemed. Proof was his recall of so many things discussed. He was surprising in his capacity to remember details…your details.

Insatiable. Always drinking in, but daily, hourly, constantly pouring out like a river; and constantly rushing and overflowing its banks.

You never had to wonder if his cup was half full or half empty; it was indisputably and immutably full!

Tenderly tough. A velvet hammer and a velvet anvil, but you didn’t seem to feel any negative weight of the impact. Today, looking back, his gentle hammering has taken shape, and it is looking more like Christ than before he began the silent hammering.

Extremist in love for life. Stretching the rubber band to its limits; no fear of breaking it; and, you just knew that if he ever broke it, he would somehow get it tied back together for another round.

Strange, fun-loving idiosyncrasies.

Square dancer, who was no square; leaving an impression for Christ in that little corner of his world.

Ready to watch a good fight---even a crazy fight. He was really funny about that, much like a kid.

Not one to invite a fight.

A red, white and true blue, old fashioned American!

Humble, and a pray-er; if you asked him to pray with you about something, he would; then, with remarkable recall, he would often ask you about it along the way to learn what God had done.

A talker, a real talker, but one you enjoyed listening to.

A tenacious do-er. You never felt that he was “requiring” things of you. Set the example, and kept moving.

He moved like the wind; like the Spirit of God.

Kind, yet rough. Sweet and tart; lemonade out of lemons with extra sugar poured in.

A leader and a servant.

Steady, ready, and dependable.

A giver and a receiver; a rare quality of character.

He was serious without taking himself too seriously.

Hospitable, courteous, thoughtful, loving.

Beautifully independent and dependent; yet you never felt the imbalance of codependence. He simply wouldn’t do that to anyone.

Open to truth about himself --- good, bad and ugly --- and he would ask for the truth, without making you feel like it was going to come back at you.

Ready to be accountable, and asked for accountability, yet reluctantly willing to hold others accountable, except in a gracious, indirect way.

Diligence personified. Prepared. Committed. Lived on the inside edge of the good life.

Lover of souls. A shepherd of the best sort; willing to give himself for and to others.

Always a kind word for others.

Always highest expectations of himself; he was a bit hard on himself.

An original; no cookie cutter; the mold was thrown away.

A lover of God; and, clearly an object of God’s love.

He was faithful.

I miss you, Buddy. I really, sincerely, aching-in-my-heart miss you, my “dear friend”!

I’m happy he is home; but, in the most selfish of terms, I wish he was here. I deeply miss our time together face to face, in emails, on the phone, and at church. Your investment will not be in vain in my life by the grace of God.

Here. Suddenly, gone. Classic Buddy Burns.

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From the Bentwater Newsletter

[To:] All Bentwater Members,

Today Bentwater is without a dear friend after Dr. WC “Buddy” Burns, the pastor of North Shore Church, passed away at home on Sunday in Willis. He was 71 years young. Dr. Burns, a familiar face at Bentwater for the past four years, shared his warmth, insight and spirituality with the community on a daily basis. His energy and his passion for religion were contagious and will be missed by his parishioners and the entire Bentwater family.

This great friend, father and grandfather passed through our midst unexpectedly this week, and we are happy we had the opportunity to have known him.

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Jim, he sounds like a wonderful man, I know you will miss him.
Dear Mr. Jim...Such fine write ups about Mr. Buddy..
You know, I just hope that during his life time that people told him these things.
We just have to be doing this more often..
SO Mr. Jim, I am telling you now what a great friend and prayer warrior you have been in my life!!

Just to think Mr. Jim that your friend went home doing exactly what he loved to do!!..Love Terry

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