A History of the Burns Family
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Ada and Guy  

1 - D.A. Burns
2 - Big Lake
3 - Ada & Guy
4 - Ebba & Elna
5 - Don & Helen
6 - Dave & Wilma
7 - Bob & Betty


In 1948, Guy and Ada moved to a shingle-sided lakeside cottage -- they called it Puddin' Lane -- on Champagne Point Road in Juanita, near Kirkland. They lived on the ground floor in a honeycomb of small rooms -- front room with fireplace facing the lake, kitchen with knotty pine cupboards Guy built, a small bedroom, an entry way with a glass-topped desk, a bathroom with a raised toilet, a narrow extra bedroom that was later outfitted with bunkbeds for grandchildren's visits, Ada's room with its floor-to-ceiling drawers crammed with fabrics, buttons, thread, ribbon, and all the tools needed for her sewing projects, and Guy's workshop.

Ebba, joined later by Elna, lived upstairs, in an equally small unit with a sunroom overlooking the lake, the wide yard with its madrone trees, and the L-shaped dock with Guy's fishing shed perched on the end. This sunroom became "backstage" to a puppet theater that Guy built. It saw regular use for Christmas performances of Hansel and Gretel put on by the whole family using marionettes designed and sewed by Ada. Two complete sets of these puppets survive, one with Patty and one with Kath. The stuffed animals were distributed to the extended family after Bob died.

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Christmas was an especially busy time for the Burns Family, with an exhausting schedule of events from the start to finish of December, and beyond. The Hansel and Gretel production was the centerpiece, with rehearsals leading up to a performance after Christmas for family, neighbors, and friends. But the Burnses also found time to gather greens, bake gingerbread house, trim trees, celebrate four birthdays, sing Christmas carols, and exchange gifts.


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Guy and Ada achieved recognition for their contributions to local arts and culture. They were also written up in the paper.

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Guy and Ada lived independently at Puddin' Lane until the time they died in 1974, just a few months after they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. They died within a few weeks of each other. The loss of this inspirational and loving pair was enormous for the family, which never did hold a proper memorial for either of them.

Each of Guy and Ada's children received a copy of this note after Guy passed away.


April 19, 1974

Dear Evelyn, Don, David, and Bob,

I am writing this letter to all of you to be opened only after I have passed away.

I have no legacy. All that I have has been given to you during my life by trying to be a good father, with loyalty and love to all of you, which is also true of Mom, my first and only sweetheart.

I wish I had a bountiful legacy to share with you, but you will have to accept as our legacy our love and companionship we have shared with you these many years.

When I pass away, I wish you would share amicably the few personal possessions I have, such as tools, and fishing tackle, and the two rifles. Throw the shotgun away as it is dangerous to use with the ammunition they have today.

I have a small savings account under my name, Mom's, and Evelyn's. If there is any left after taking care of Mom, I wish to give the residue to David, as he has made it possible for us to live in comfort during our retired years.

I sincerely hope that if mom survives me that it will not be necessary to place her in a retirement home except as a last resort.

There is also a chest of drawers in the basement that I would like to give to David for his shop at the plant.

That is about all the wordly possessions I have except my clothes.

Above all I hope you will take the best care of Mom as she means so much to me.

I love you all and I am very happy that you have all lived useful and happy lives and have not caused Mom or me any trouble or worry in all your lives.

May God keep you,

With all my love,