Richard William Burns


An open letter from the friends of Richard William Burns:
Richard died on Thursday, July 11, from the complications of a good life.
Richard could be a cranky bastard, but he was our cranky bastard. He was a curmudgeon and sometimes downright cantankerous. But, that's why he was loved. In his younger years, Richard could be found cattin' around at Murphy's Irish Pub, manning a barstool at Packard's or Champs, or charging the lanes at Fourth Street Bowl. He loved to recount his tales of perfect games. Richard was proud of his Navy service and enjoyed spinning yarns about his days on shore leave in the Mediterranean. We are sure that even then he was a handful.
In more recent years, he didn't get around as well as he would have liked and kept many of us company from his regular corner at Club 609, which was close to his apartment and a place he always felt welcome. Richard was always up for a good conversation, and he wasn't afraid to share his political views.
Richard loved his favorite TV show, CSI, and his bar friends. He always greeted us with a wide smile and a welcoming wave. He treated people with respect, unless you rubbed him the wrong way, and he seldom judged. He lived hard in his early life, but made the best of every day. He tipped servers well when he had the means and always thanked them profusely when he didn't.
From his barstool perch in downtown Joplin, Richard associated with a wide circle of friends - business owners and bartenders, service workers and professionals, and he loved the media types. He loved the ladies, but was always respectful and frequently snarled at those who weren't kind to the fairer sex. He didn't suffer disrespectful fools.
Many people in Joplin won't remember Richard, but those of us who do, will miss his cranky disposition and loving nature. Rest in peace, Richard, have a beer on us and roll a perfect game every time you hit the lanes at the big bowling alley in Heaven.
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Published on July 19, 2019
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