, Gloucester, MA

June 17, 2013

William E. 'Squire Will' Burns, 87

Gloucester, MA — William E. “Squire Will” Burns, 87, of Gloucester, husband of the late Marilyn J. (Lee) Burns, the love of his life for more than 70 years, passed away on Sunday morning, June 16, 2013.

Born in Ipswich on June 30, 1925, he was the son of the late John Burns and Marion (Flynn) Burns. He was a graduate of Gloucester High School, graduating in January of 1944, so he could serve in WWII. He joined the Navy serving in the South Pacific as a Signalman aboard the USS Teton. He was honorably discharged in May of 1946, and went to work for a short time as an apprentice plumber for his father, John. In 1947, he became a barber working for Matt Cooney before opening his own shop in 1964 with his wife, Marilyn. He always said he enjoyed his work, looking forward to the stories and jokes his customers had to share. In 1972, he opened Squire Will’s Restaurant & Pub, which he operated for 15 years with his wife and sons. He met many wonderful people throughout the years making many new friends along the way.

William enjoyed skiing and traveling with his wife, visiting family and friends around the country. He loved country music and was a Boston sports fan. What he enjoyed most was spending time with his family and in later years, walking the boulevard and meeting old friends along the way. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Gloucester Council No. 215, The Elks, Gloucester Lodge #892 and Amvets, Gloucester Post 32.

He leaves behind his daughter, Cathy Burns of Newburyport; his sons, Kevin Burns and his wife, Christine of Newburgh Ind., Barry Burns and his wife, Kristine of Gloucester, Brian Burns and his wife, Denise of Gloucester, and Sean Burns and his wife, Sharon of Danvers. He is also survived by his two sisters, Beatrice Kimball and her husband, Frank of Danvers, and Joan Rocha of Gloucester; his sisters-in-laws, Janice Prince and Marjorie Burns, both of Gloucester. William also leaves behind 12 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Marilyn, he was predeceased by his five brothers, John “Buddy” Burns, Robert Burns, Brother Thomas Burns, Reverend Father David Burns, and Neil Burns. He was also predeceased by his grandson, Shannon Burns; and granddaughter, Erinn Burns.

ARRANGEMENTS: His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Ann’s Church, Holy Family Parish on Wednesday, June 19, at 10:30 a.m. A visitation will precede the Mass on Wednesday in the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend.

The burial will be held privately at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in William’s memory to St. Vincent de Paul Society or St. Ann’s Church, Holy Family Parish, both at 60 Prospect St., Gloucester, MA 01930. Online condolences may be given at