Gerald “Jerry” Wayne Burns, 78, of Belvidere, Illinois passed away suddenly Saturday March 20, 2021 at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center after a recent cancer diagnosis. Jerry, or “Doc” as many knew him, was born August 11, 1942 in Kirksville, Missouri the son of M.B. Burns and Geneva Veach . Jerry was near graduation when his path took a different turn, but he did go back to obtain his GED while in his 50s. While in the classes preparing for the exam, he was teaching the other students and the instructor would leave him in charge if they had to step out. Jerry married the light of his life Carol Zwanziger on May 19, 1963 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Fredericka, Iowa. He was employed at Eclipse in Rockford and General Power in Harvard before Courtland in Woodstock where he retired from. Jerry loved hunting, fishing and trapshooting from a young age. He loved gardening, especially his tomatoes and green beans! He volunteered with the Salvation Army food pantry for several years where those he worked alongside with and served became like family. He absolutely adored Pastor David Smith and his relationship with him grew through his volunteer work. He attended Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois. Jerry never met a stranger and he sure loved to talk! While he could be very strong-willed and opinionated, he made friends everywhere he went. He enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and reading. More than anything, Jerry loved his family- especially his babies.
Jerry will be cherished and lovingly missed by his wife Carol; children Sheri (Verel) Foltz, Kathie (Paul) Ainley, Kenny Burns; brothers John Veach, David Veach, Melvin Burns, Kyle Burns; sisters Linda Bachman, Tina Veach, Alana Schweikart, Jana Fedderly; granddaughters Jessica (Tyler) Albrecht, Katrina (Eric) Burnett, Nicole (Tyler Wade) Ainley; eight great-grandchildren with one more on the way who he was very much looking forward to holding. He is preceded in death by both parents and brother Jerry Veach.
A walk-through visitation will be held from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday March 27, 2021 at Belvidere First Assembly of God located 1105 7th Avenue Belvidere, Illinois 61008 with a Celebration of Life to follow with Pastor David Smith officiating. Face masks and social distancing will be required. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family. To light a candle or leave a memory, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.