Richard Keates Burns, 83, passed away on Wednesday, January 13th. He was born in Des Moines to Loren and Elizabeth Burns.

Rich graduated from North High School in 1956. He attended Simpson College for one year, then enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He became an Air Traffic Controller with the Air Force until 1961, when he was honorably discharged. Following his discharge from the military, Rich was a volunteer fire fighter for the City of Ankeny and also a truck driver for various organizations until 1986, at which time he became employed with Mercy Medical Center as Flight Communications Specialist for MercyOne Helicopter. He retired in 2002. After retirement he worked part-time as an armor truck driver for Rochester Armored Car Services.

In 1986, Rich met the love of his life, Dixie. They married in 1987 and blended their families, sharing 5 children, 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Rich was a member of Christ the King Parish and a 4th degree Knight, in which he was extremely proud of. His faith was a remarkable testament to the man he was. He was also a member of Bellizzi-MacRae American Legion Post #659. Rich loved his family dearly and was a devoted grandfather. His face would light up when the grandkids and/or great-grandkids were near. He loved being by the lake fishing and shooting any chance he had and he was also a die-hard Green Bay Packer fan and NY Yankees fan. Rich also had a love for animals including his own.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, Dixie; their children, Dana Mullin (Scott Rosheim), Deanna (Mike) Watson, Danelle (Joe) Strantz and Jeff Burns; 11 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; sister, Sandy McCleary (John); and his brother-in-law, Richard (Denise) Fetters.

Rich was preceded in death by his son, Rich Burns; parents, Rex and Liz Burns; mother-in-law, Evalena Fetters; brother-in-law, Hal McCleary; and his grandparents.

Visitation will be held Sunday, January 17, 2021 from 5 to 7 pm at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5711 SW 9th Street. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, January 18th at 11:00 am at the church. Richard will be laid to rest with military honors at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The family respectfully requests that all guests wear masks and practice social distancing.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Knights of Columbus at Christ the King Parish.

The family would like to thank MercyOne Hospital for all their attention, love and devotion that Rich received while in their care.

Condolences may be expressed at

Service Details

Sunday, January 17, 2021
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Christ the King Catholic Church
5711 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Monday, January 18, 2021
11:00 am
Christ the King Catholic Church
5711 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery
Des Moines, Iowa
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
(515) 285-3911

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