Dr. Edward “Ed” Eugene Burns, Ph.D.

Dr. Edward Eugene Burns
April 13, 1926 – February 14, 2017

Edward Burns, 90, of College Station, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, in College Station. A graveside service is scheduled for 2 pm, Sunday, February 19, 2017, in the College Station City Cemetery, 2530, South Texas Ave, College Station. Services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers-Bryan/College Station.

Ed was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Glenn and Grace More Burns. Dr. Edward Burns received his degrees, BS (1950), MS (1952), and Ph. D (1956) from Purdue University. He served as an Instructor in Food Science at Purdue and directed the Indiana Federal State Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Service for several years before going to Texas A&M University in 1956. Professor Burns is the author of over one hundred scientific articles and has contributed chapters for several textbooks.

He developed the foods program of the manned spacecraft efforts of NASA throughout the Apollo flights and developmental foods for future space programs. He has been awarded the Institute of Food Technologists’ W.C. Cruess Award as an outstanding teacher of Food Science. Dr. Burns has served as national president of Phi Tau Sigma, the honorary society for food scientists and as a member of the Executive Committees of Institute of Food Technologists and the Texas Food Processors Association. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and also a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. Dr. Burns taught many CEOs and other top executives of today’s Fortune 500 Food Industry Companies.

Outside of his professional career, Dr. Burns contributed much to his community along with family. He was the founder of the Boys Scouts here in Brazos County. He was the TAMU Skeet and Trap Faculty Sponsor and the coach of the 1980 United States Olympic Skeet Team. He also served as Chairman of the College Station Zoning & Planning Committee. He contributed to the county serving as Deputy Director of the Brazos County Civil Defense and as a Deputy Sheriff; he felt the call to serve as a Deacon at A&M Presbyterian Church. Edward has contributed over twenty-five years as the Election Precinct Judge in Brazos County. He proudly served our country as a Sailor with the U.S. Navy during WWII.

He is the proud father of his four children who loved and admired him in all Edward would pursue. He was an avid outdoorsman who had a tremendous love for fishing and hunting. It was a guarantee that his meals were completed with dessert without fail. He and his dog Babe had ice cream every night. His intriguing character prompted him in sharing and telling a good “BS” story and was known for mastering pranks that involved rubber snakes. Our present day MacGyver holds nothing to the way Edward could fix anything in his own way that needed to be fixed either correct or SAFE but he could figure something out. His children shared that as much as dad loved us, he loved animals as well and owned various pets throughout his life. Edward as fond of good music and played the trumpet at a point in his life. And to wrap up the greatness of our dad he was an amazing cook. He and his wife, Martha Ann Wolff Burns, celebrated fifty-seven beautiful years of marriage before her passing in 2005. They were married on December 18, 1948, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Preceding Dr. Burns in death are his wife Martha Burns; his parents Glenn and Grace Burns; his sister Marilyn Kimble and her husband Max Kimble; all of Columbia City, Indiana.

Dr. Edward Eugene Burns is survived by his sons Steve “Fritz” Burns, of Bryan and Scott his wife Lisa Burns, of College Station; his daughters Laura and husband Joe Layman, of Waco and Michelle and husband Joe Ping, of College Station; his grandchildren whom he says, “completed his life’s journey” are Teresa Vasser, of Goltry, Ok; Jeff Burns and wife Lina, of Caldwell; Doug Burns and wife Alexa, of College Station; Kelly Ping, Lauren Elias and husband Zach, Katy Ping, all of College Station; his great-grandchildren Heather Heffelfinger, Jude Vasser, Layla Vasser, Vaughn Burns, J.P. Burns, Jacee Kay Oehlert, Blakelynne Burns, Koy Burns, Carlee Elias and Camryn Elias; many nieces and nephews; his faithful companion dog Babe; and host of friends and former students who remained in contact with Dr. Burns throughout his life.

The family wishes to thank Ophelia Rios for the devoted love and care of Ed for the last three years. Also, Trish Green for her kindness and care and finally, Hospice Brazos Valley for their most heartfelt care in the last few weeks of Dr. Edward Burns’ life.

Memorial donations are kindly to be given to the Brazos Valley Humane Society, Hospice Brazos Valley, and or to Ducks Unlimited in Memory of Dr. Edward Burns.

Express condolences at CallawayJones.com


  1. Scott, so sorry about your Dad, reading all this about him, wow he was an amazing man. I’m sure he will be missed by many. Prayers for him and his his family.

  2. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Burns clan. What an amazing life your dad had! Such a beautiful tribute for his long, full life. Thank God for all the years you had together. May he rest peacefully in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ, and may God comfort you in His loving arms.

  3. Mr. Burns you will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for always sharing Camp Creek with the A&M Consolidated Softball team. The memories that were made there will never be forgotten as the were a basis for a lot of our success as we were the tighttessed of teams because of the time we got to spend together at Camp Creek.
    The times I got to visit with you will always be cherished as I always enjoyed your stories. God bless you Scott and your family during this time. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Doc’ you made the best damn rabbit stew at hunting camp up here in Montana–that is, when we were able to shoot some rabbits!
    I still have a lump in my sleeping bag where you hid the piece of firewood!
    May the good Lord take you into his fold–
    Our prayers are with your family–

    • Roman,
      Thank you for your kind words. Dad spoke of you often.
      If you happen to be in touch with Claymire and Jamie could you please let them know? We don’t have address or phone for them. Thank you.
      Best Regards,
      Michelle Burns Ping (Ed’s daughter)
      3203 Liesl Court
      College Station, TX 77845

  5. Forever, our Double E (as in EE Burns). Great man and friend to all he encountered. Great story teller, tinkerer and hunter. One of two great influences in my life. Who else would tell his students about the “beast of busco” (look it up). I will truly miss him. Sympathy to all.

    • Jim,
      Could you please send me your address?
      Best regards,
      Michelle Burns Ping
      3203 Liesl Court
      College Station, TX. 77845

  6. Steve, Scott, Laurie and Michelle
    Your mom and dad and all of you will always have a very special place in my heart. We pray you remember all the good and special times we all had with you and your dad,
    Love and Godspeed
    Percie and Caroline LAMAR

  7. Scott, condolences to you and Lisa and family. I enjoyed reading the lovely obituary. He certainly had a life to envied.

  8. Steve, Scott, Laura and Michelle, my heart is with you as Dr. Burns has been in mine. Still remember his prank of leaving a rubber “dog defecation” in the living room so I would find it when cleaning the house. That was during some vacations I was encharged of cleaning the house and taking care of the dog. GRAN ABRAZO!!

  9. Fritz, Scott, Laura and Michelle…..my heart goes out to all of you and your extended families. From the beginning, your mom and dad welcomed me into your home as if I were one of their own, as did all of you. I can’t remember a time when there wasn’t love of family, laughter or some kind of shenanigans going on whether it was at Park Place or Camp Creek. I don’t think anybody fought like you kids, fretted like Martha (mom!❤️) or carried on like Shad. I truly had no idea of the extent of his education, his community involvement and his contributions to NASA and other agencies. What a remarkable man! I’m so glad you all were able to have him on this earth as long as you did. Lots of love and hugs to you.

  10. So sorry for your loss. Your dad lived life to the fullest and impacted all that knew him. My prayers are with you all.

  11. Dear Scott, Steve & Burns Family,

    I just learned of Ed’s death because I was on a trip. I knew he was not doing well, but it still came as a surprise. My apologies for not being there for the service. I just did not know.

    I knew Dr. Burns for over 50 years. He was unfailingly kind to me and always helpful. He gave me a lot of guidance in the early years of my duck hunting. His lessons on conservation, sportsmanship and fellowship will never be forgotten.
    His sense of humor and his perspective on life were always welcome.

    Birchridge benefited greatly from his leadership and example. It is true to say that some of the best aspects of the Birchridge culture came directly from Dr. Burns. He always lamented that we had gotten away from the focus on fellowship that he so enjoyed and he was right.

    There are so, so many Ed Burns stories that I will never forget and never cease to enjoy. He was a great guy in every aspect. I am sorry for your loss and mine.

  12. To the family of Dr. Ed Burns,
    I just learn of his death through a colleague at NASA. Thirty eight years ago I met Dr. Burns at a meeting of food professionals here in San Antonio and was impressed by his leadership and quest to establish a IFT regional section here in SA. He was the driving force in having the Alamo IFT section become an approved IFT section under national IFT in 1978. As one of the last remaining charter members, I have had many opportunities to laud his accomplishments in making this happen. Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss of such an outstanding person and contributer to society.

  13. Dear Children and Grandchildren of Dr. Burns,

    We are saddened for your loss and celebrate with you in memory of the fine man who was part of the greatest generation. It was a privilege to know him and to enjoy the years shared at Birchridge. In memory of Dr. Burns, a contribution has been made to Ducks Unlimited.

    Sue Ellen and Fred Davis

  14. I spent two years at Texas A&M and was Dr. Burns office assistant. I have thought of him many times throughout the years. My husband’s family has roots in College Station and the family Home is still occupied by his uncle on Dexter. So sorry that I didn’t look him up years ago. He held a special place in my heart as he was probably the first true mentor in my life. Condolences, late as they to the family. Cella Lancaster

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