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Ledyard- Robert Bruce Burns, of Ledyard died suddenly in a motor vehicle accident on July 15, 2017. He was born June 18, 1938 in Missouri to George N. and Millie Burns, who later made their home in Ledyard directly across the street where Burns was living at his time of death. Mr. Burns is survived by his six children; Kelly (Alexander) Lieber of Bozeman, Montana, Deborah (Mike) Anthony of Jacksonville, Florida, Shannon Burns of Salt Lake City, Utah and Bridget (Christian) Shuffield of Little Rock, Arkansas, Bruce and Guy Burns of Ledyard. He is survived by 13 amazing grandchildren; AJ, Sheyne, Clara, Morgen, Paige, Nizhoni, Sage, Phoenix, Jade, Liam, Ella, Mila and Luke. He was predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Sara Chaison and Philip Burns. “Bruce” as he was called growing up graduated from Norwich Free Academy and then joined the Marine Corps. After an honorable discharge, he had a stint as an actor, then a cowboy, breaking wild horses and learning the trade of farrier. He then returned home to Ledyard, where he met Ellen Kennedy, his future partner. The two lived for a time on a houseboat in the Virgin Islands before returning stateside to New York, where his first child, Kelly was born. Bruce and Ellen were involved politically in the scene as many were during the turbulent 1960s and early 70s. They moved their young family to New Hampshire to live on a commune, and then Somerville Massachusetts where Deborah was born. A couple of years later they moved back to Norwich, Connecticut where Shannon and Bridget were born and where Burns became involved in the political activism he so loved, attempting to better the conditions of workers at Electric Boat as a union organizer. Mr. Burns found his way to California where he worked for many years in the Los Angeles area and raised his family. He moved to Laguna Beach for a time before settling in San Diego where he studied martial arts and zazen after an accident to his hand which left him disabled. In spite of this injury, he continued to play his beloved guitar as much as possible and studied swordwork. His mother passed away in 1998 and Burns (later known as “Bob” and “Robert”) decided to return, the prodigal son to the beloved farm where he grew up. He had two young boys to care for whom he taught all about growing things and martial arts. For a time he lived part time in Mexico but had returned full time to his farm at the time of his death. His farm Aiki Farms was a beautiful creation with many events and much community involvement. Burns loved his town of Ledyard and fought for the causes which he felt passionate about, including labelling of GMOs and against Monsanto. He enjoyed taking his two boys dirtbiking. He enjoyed sailing and had a sailboat which he looked forward to taking to Block Island as he had for many years. He enjoyed his life and lived with gusto. He lived a life most dream about. Services are pending due to his son being seriously injured in the crash which took Burns’ life.

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Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
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