Services for Curtis J. Burns, 70, Lawrence, will be held at a later date. Curtis was born in Garden City, Kansas, on May 27, 1950 to Byron James (Jim) and Ruth Louise (Kirchoff) Burns, both deceased. Curtis succumbed to prostate cancer on Thursday, August 27, 2020 after an almost 18-year battle.
He attended Garden City schools and graduated from Garden City High School in 1968, and graduated from Garden City Community College in 1972. Curtis enjoyed playing baseball from Little League through America Legion. He played basketball in high school and was a member of the starting 5 from the last semester of 1967, through his senior year of 1968. He was most proud of playing a basketball game in the state tournament in his junior year in Allen Fieldhouse.
He worked for his dad at his father’s Kerr-McGee service station from the time he was 15 until he graduated from Garden City Junior College in 1972.
Curtis and his wife, Joyce moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1972, where he attended the University of Kansas. In 1974, he bought a retail liquor store which became Burns Retail Liquor and owned it until 1981. Curtis sold cars for Bob Hopkins Volkswagen-Subaru starting in 1982. In 1988, Curtis went to work for Jim Clark Motors in the sales department and worked there for 20 years until he retired in 2008.
He then became a driver for Jim Clark’s and Briggs Motors until fully retiring in 2016. Curtis is survived by his wife, Joyce of 51 years and a big yellow cat named Bobby, his mother-in-law, Doris Thompson, sisters-in-law, Carol Supancic (Tom) and Tracy Lingenfelser (John) of Lawrence, Kansas, Michelle Myers (Eric) of Columbus, Ohio, and Lisa Thompson of Houston, Texas, and nieces and nephews, Jennifer Sanderson (Joe), Katie Gustke (Greg), Audrey Gedera (Mike), Matthew Thompson (Hoany), Timber Supancic, Cassady Clinkscale, Kennedy Clinkscale, Erin Myers, Jason Myers; great-nephews, Koby Sanderson, Jordan Petry; great-nieces, Ave Thompson and Emmy Thompson; and cousins.
Curtis enjoyed KU sports (having season tickets to football and basketball for 48 years), his fabulous tailgate friends, baseball and especially the Royals and Chiefs. As one of his friends noted – “His smile, wit, eyes and hair are beyond compare.” Good friend and brother-in-law, Eric, enjoyed his “razor-sharp wit.” Curtis also had a fairly vast knowledge of sports trivia especially when it came to baseball. He loved movies and he and another great friend had a standing date every Thursday afternoon when they would watch a “noir” movie that Curtis had recorded. It can definitely be said that Curtis’s vast array of friends will never forget him as he was a very unique person and a true friend.
Memorials may be made to the Lawrence Humane Society or The Visiting Nurses Association and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044. Curtis would also like to thank the LMH Oncology Department for such good care during his many years of treatment.