Virgil Thomas Burns

April 27, 2013 • Obituaries


Virgil Thomas Burns, 90, of Springfield, Mo., formerly of Dexter, passed away Monday, April 15, 2013. He was born March 12, 1923, in Pittsburg, Okla., to John T. and E. Rutonse (Walker) Burns.

Virgil served in the Army during World War II and received numerous medals. He retired from the New Mexico Fish and Wildlife Service, where he worked as a trapper. Virgil was a Christian; an excellent craftsman, who enjoyed repairing fiddles; and a perfectionist in everything. He was an accomplished Western Swing fiddler and won numerous trophies in fiddle competitions. He was an avid collector of Indian arrowheads, metates and manos, fiddles and friends. Family, musicians, and his many, many friends loved him as he loved them. He had a unique and playful personality, often referred to as Flip, Uncle Flip, Daddy Virgil, Pop, Daddy and Dad.

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Bob Burns, of Roswell, and Jim Burns, Dexter. He is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years Armel (Hass) Burns, of the home; son Russel Burns and his wife Belma, of Springfield; three grandsons, Russel Burns and his wife Melissa, of Springfield, Gerald Burns, of Beverly Hills, Calif., and Ruben Apodaca and wife, Deanna, of Hampton, Va.; great-grandchildren, Angelia Burns, of Springfield, and Kyrsten Apodaca, of Hampton; and great-great-granddaughter Kira-Mea Apodaca; a brother Royce Burns, of Roswell; and four sisters, Willora Bryant, of Hagerman, Veta Vaughn, of Dexter, Neta Burns, of Dexter, and Sue Arnold and her husband Ronny, of Roswell.

Funeral services were held April 17, 2013, in Greenlawn Funeral Home North, 3506 N. National, Springfield, MO, with the Rev. James Crowson officiating. Burial followed in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

Online condolences may be left at

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