Harold J. Burns (March 1941 – September 2023)

Harold J. Burns (March 1941 – September 2023)

Harold J. Burns, 82, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, September 10th, 2023. Harry resided in Oak Park Ca, though his heart was always in Fillmore.

Harry was born March 10th, 1941, in Fall River Massachusetts. After the loss of his parents at a young age, he was raised by his aunt Louise Finucci. In 1959 after graduating from high school, Harry joined the army. He served in the 82nd Airborne with the 501 infantry division. Harry received an honorable discharge on March 31st, 1965. After leaving the army, Harry packed his bag and headed to California with an army buddy, and fell in love with the weather and the beach.

Harry then attended CSU Dominguez Hills on the G.I. Bill where he earned his teaching credentials. Harry started his teaching career at our Lady of the Valley Los Angeles, where he coached the middle school boy’s basketball team. They won the Los Angelo’s City Champions in 1975.

Later that year, Jerry Dann hired Mr. Burns to teach and coach at Fillmore Jr. High School. He enjoyed teaching english, history, math, and journalism though one of his great passions was on the court coaching basketball. Later he went on to coach both boys and girls varsity basketball teams for Fillmore High School. In 2009 Coach Burns retired after 34 years of teaching and coaching from Fillmore High with a special group of girls on his varsity team that year.

Mr. Burns was everyone’s favorite teacher. He believed in all of his students, supported their ambitions and taught them many important life lessons as well. He held all of his student dear to his heart, keeping many thank you notes over the years. One reading “If it weren’t for great teachers like you, there wouldn’t be grateful students like me!”

Along with his many achievements in athletics Mr. Burns was also very passionate about teachers rights and was an active member of the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association for 33 years. He served as president 6 times, vice president 4 times, grievance chair 6 times, charter member and writer of the first contract for 1978-79. He was proudly known as the “Union Man” among his colleagues.

His golden years were spent traveling, spending time with his friends and family, and watching his grandchildren play sports as he was their biggest fan.

Harold J. Burns is survived by his wife Yvonne Burns, step daughter Dana Schlossberg, brother in-law Eric and wife Christine Koenig.

He is also survived by his first wife Amelia Burns, their daughter Carina and husband Eric Crawford, and their son Casimiro and wife Jessica Burns; their grandchildren Kasey, Dylan, Porsche, Alexander, Madison and Asher; their great grandchildren Anastasia and Theodore.

A Celebration of Life for our beloved Dad, Grandpa, Husband, Friend, Teacher, Coach and Colleague will be held on Saturday, March 9th at 1pm at the Bardsdale United Methodist Church in the Labard Hall; 1498 Bardsdale Ave Fillmore Ca, 93015.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in honor of Mr. Burns to the Fillmore Alumni Association.