Obituaries

Gordon Russell Burns

29/02/1952 - 13/03/2020

Obituary for Gordon Russell Burns

With daughters by his side, Gordon Russell Burns passed away on March 13, 2020 from a rare form of cancer at the age of 17(68) at the Grande Prairie Hospital.

Gordon will be lovingly remembered by his four daughters Leslie McLeod (Kelvin), Heather (Mark) Favron, Kelly (Carey) Opper and Kyla Burns (Shawn); Grandchildren, Victoria (Karl), Patricia (Chad), Olyvia (Ben), Jenelle (Burton), Jayme (Catherine), Jesse, Jayden (Adam), Bryce, Cassey, Juliet and Arabelle; Great-Grandchildren Asher and Emma; Brothers, Shan(Wendy), Ralph, Emmet (Lynn), Tom (Cheryl); Sisters Kathy (Larry), Janet (Jim) Pre-deceased by Wendy and brother Bobbie.

He was born and raised in Devon, Alberta, where he went to work at a young age and tried his hand at many things but fell in love with carpentry. As a well-known journeyman carpenter, Gordon worked hard to support his family, which included building three homes. He loved working with wood and creating beautiful things like bird houses, coffee tables & picnic tables and more.

Gordon was first an adventurer. He loved the land and the natural beauty of landscapes and was always exploring, learning about birds, rivers, stars and the environment. With this voyager spirit he made the most courageous move. He sold his Honda motorcycle for a school bus, packed up the family, and headed North to the Yukon. Henderson Corner is where Gordon raised his girls with strong values, fierce independence and most of all love, and where he enjoyed time spent with family and friends. He was a teacher and mentor for his girls and grandchildren and taught us how to live off the land with the land; where to find edible plants, how to whittle a whistle, the sound of each bird, and to appreciate the great outdoors.

Gordon was always up for a debate, whether it be about a pipeline, the environment, the government or his beloved CBC radio. He spent a great deal of time learning and researching how we could make things better for his grandchildren and future generations. “I won’t miss what is happening in the world around us but I will miss my family and your mom’s cooking.”

One of his greatest joys was spending time with family, be it camping at Slave Lake, a grandchild’s graduation or a family reunion. He loved sitting around a good campfire – the stories and laughs were long and endless.

With his love of reading he lived a thousand different lives through stories but his favorite story of all was living in the Yukon building a life for those he loved.

Dad was a true example of family, always together, always strong. We love you dad and we will never forget – we promise!

On behalf of Gordon, the family would like to express our sincere appreciation to Dad’s doctor - Dr. Keegan and our amazing nursing staff on 5 North at the Grand Prairie Hospital.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com

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Gordon and I were in the same grade since grade 7. Great guy and good friend to all. Always lots of fun and good in school too. Not my fondest memory but one I often tell the story of the car race Gord and Neils Sprokreff had down by Bailey's flats outside of Devon. It was the talk of the town and I'm sure his mom got some gray hair after that day. I enjoyed Gordon's obituary and learning about his family and his life. Thanks wish I would have taken the time to have looked him up. Rest In Peace.
- Grant Jacobs

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at http://www.afsrb.ab.ca/  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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