Donald Burns loved Bruce Springsteen. Gloria Burns was an excellent bowler. Both are remembered by their son as great parents.
The Council Bluffs couple both passed away — within an hour of each other — Friday at Midlands Living Center. They were married for 65 years.
"My dad was you typical simple man. He worked for a living to take care of his family," Kevin Burns of Council Bluffs said. "Mom was a housewife and an in-home mom. She was a great mother and he was a great father."
Don was born Sept. 10, 1924, in Waukon. Gloria was born May 26, 1928, in Strawberry Point. While he couldn't remember how his parents met, Kevin said family was always important to them.
Donald and Gloria adopted Kevin and his sister, Michelle, within six months of each other when they both were infants, Kevin said. Donald was a U.S. Navy veteran and drove a truck for Janesville Auto Transport Company. His job brought the family to Council Bluffs in the early 1970s. For many years, the family resided on Kimberly Drive and both Kevin and Michelle attended Abraham Lincoln High School. From time to time, Gloria would work at Woods Sporting Goods and as a cook at Midlands Living Center. They both were members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
Kevin said his parents liked to go bowling, though his mother was the "better" bowler.
"She had all kinds of trophies," he said.
Donald and Gloria also liked music and were both fans of the musician Neil Young. A few years ago, Kevin took his father to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform live in concert.
Donald moved to Midlands Living Center four years ago after he broke his hip and could no longer live at home. Gloria moved to Midlands five months after she too broke her hip. While the two did not share a room, they still visited each other as often as they could.
On Friday, Donald passed away at 12:30 p.m. Kevin said that while his mother didn't say much, she understood that her husband had died.
"When I went into her room before she passed away, she wasn't responding to anyone," Kevin said. "I brought her a Pepsi and her Yorkie, and her eyes opened up. We talked for 20 minutes on and off. We talked about how much we loved each other. She was glad I brought her a Pepsi, but she was tired."
Gloria didn't talk about Donald. Around 1:15 p.m., she died.
"They were good people," Kevin said.
In addition to Kevin, the couple is survived by grandson Travis Burns and his wife, Becky; and their great-grandchildren, Emily and Tyler Burns. Don is also survived by his brother and sisters, Ray Burns and Ruth Schulte and Jeanne Needham; and nieces and nephews.
Visitation with the family is from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cutler-O'Neill-Meyer-Woodring Bayliss Park Chapel. The funeral service for the couple will be 2 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
The couple will be buried at St. Joseph Cemetery.