Thomas Edgar Burns, age 69, passed away on March 1, 2018, at Mission Hospital in Asheville,
as a result of medical issues related to his peripheral neuropathy. He was bom August 12, 1948
in Cairo, Illinois, son of Thomas Doud Burns and Eleanor Stephens Burns. He graduated from
Cairo High School and went to undergraduate school at the University of Illinois where he
earned a B.A. in Accounting. He worked in public accounting until he enlisted in the US Navy
in 1971. He was commissioned an ensign and was posted at the Naval Supply Corps School in
Athens, Georgia. It was in Athens where he met Susan, his beloved wife of 46 years. He served
under the command of Admiral Rickover of the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington,
D.C. and Newport News, VA. During this time he also attended William and Mary University
and earned a Masters of Business Administration. Following his release from active duty in the
Navy, he went on to work in public accounting for Price Waterhouse, and ultimately as a partner
at Bennett Thrasher in Atlanta.
Tom spent his life enjoying the outdoors, with Susan, their sons, Thomas and Ben, and with a
long list of friends. He was a runner, cyclist, white water canoeist and an avid fly fisherman,
enjoying a short break from his career to work for the Nantahala Outdoor Center as CFO. Time
spent in western North Carolina led to Asheville as the location of choice for retirement. Due to
his neuropathy, Tom was not able to do the activities he had looked forward to in the mountains,
but he kept his spirits up and found other ways to fill his life. He loved his time spent with
family, his grandsons, friends and neighbors. He enjoyed traveling and as long as he was able,
he enjoyed his activities at the Downtown YMCA as well as volunteering in the ICU at Mission.
Tom is survived by his wife, Susan; his sons, Thomas and Ben; daughter-in-law, Jamie Tidmore
Burns; and grandsons, Everett and Wyatt; as well as cousins, extended family and an abundance
of devoted friends.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that any memorial donations be made to The Foundation for
Peripheral Neuropathy, The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation or to American Rivers.
A memorial service will be held on March 9, 2018 at 11:00 at the Unitarian Universalist Church