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James H. Burns, age 102, of Ayr, ND died on March 28, 2019 in Bethany on 42nd in Fargo, ND.
James H. “Jim” Burns, the youngest child of John Sr. and Elizabeth Hyslop Burns, was born on October 22, 1916 at the family farm in Ayr Township. He was the youngest of ten children. He attended rural schools until 1934, when he moved to Garrison, ND to live with his sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law Lewis Shimota. Jim graduated from Garrison High School in 1935, returned to the family farm and joined the family’s farming operation. He retired in 1976.
Jim remained on the family farm with his sisters Sylvia and Ruby after the death of his parents. Although Jim never married or had children, his nieces and nephews were very special to him. He and his sisters took great pride in keeping the home fires burning -- family was always welcome at the Burns farm. Jim enjoyed phone calls and visits from family and friends. His door was always open, and the coffee pot was always on.
Jim was known as “Uncle Jim” to many generations. This was a role that Jim took seriously, and he was good at it. Shortly after his 100th birthday, Jim was thrilled to be a special guest of his great-great-great nephew at Casselton Elementary School’s 100th Day of School celebration.
Jim was a learned man who kept well informed of politics and current events. He took great pride in being a part of the Ayr community. He was elected Clerk and Treasurer of the Ayr Township Board in 1956 after his father left the position. He served in this position until 1991, marking 80 years of involvement by the Burns family on the township board. Jim also served as a volunteer fireman for many years. He enjoyed reading, bowling and woodworking.
Jim moved to Casselwood apartments, Casselton, ND, in 2011. While he enjoyed his time at Casselwood, the farm at Ayr was his home. He made many trips to the farm as his health allowed, and enjoyed meeting neighbors to visit. He remained at Casselwood until January, when he moved to Bethany Homes in Fargo. While there he loved to play BINGO.
Simply put, Jim Burns was a good man. He made the world a better place. He will be missed by those who were blessed to know him.
Jim is survived by several nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends. He was preceded by his parents, siblings, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral: Monday, April 1, 2019 at 1:00 PM at West Funeral Home Chapel, West Fargo with visitation one hour prior.
Burial: Buffalo Cemetery.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center