Cover photo for George Rodgers Burns's Obituary
George Rodgers Burns Profile Photo
1927 George 2020

George Rodgers Burns

November 14, 1927 — April 29, 2020

George Rodgers Burns, B.A.Sc., P.Eng

November 14, 1927 - April 29, 2020

It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge the passing of George Rodgers Burns in his 93rd year at Southlake, Newmarket.

Predeceased by his parents George Rodgers Burns (1881 to 1958) and Florence Whilimina (nee Hutchison, 1888 to 1935). Devoted husband to Nina Catherine 'Cay' (nee Gardiner). He is survived by his brother Bruce (Josephine d. 2019) Burns. Dear father to Colleen (Michael) Cassidy of Sunderland, Cameron (Laura) Burns of Kingston, Cathy (Peter) Waring of Sutton West, and Christopher (Treena) Burns of Sutton West. Loving grandfather to Rebecca, Matthew, Graeme, Natalie, Caitlyn, Colin, Brandon, Sarah, and Spencer.

George was born at home in Toronto's Danforth neighbourhood to immigrant parents from Londonderry, Ireland. He and his brother were raised by their maternal aunt following the death of their mother. The family built a cottage at Willow Beach, Lake Simcoe where they spent many happy summers. George met Cay there in the summer of 1945 and they married, March 13, 1954.

George graduated from the University of Toronto in 1952 (Applied Science & Engineering). A recognized 'tribologist', he developed unique lubricants for industrial applications and acted as expert witness on related cases. His career included positions in industrial sales at Sun Oil, Castrol, Gulf Oil and Forsythe. George also was a partner in a brokerage firm in the mid 60's and operated a successful small home renovation business.

George was generous to a fault and believed deeply in community service. He served two terms as a school board trustee in North York as well as serving on the Metro Toronto Planning Board. He took great pleasure in helping others.

In 1974 the family cottage was sold and George and Cay purchased 'Plumstead' (ca. 1822) which would become their permanent home. George and Cay became well entrenched in the local community and developed deep and lasting relationships. Plumstead was a popular B&B where George provided the entertainment and Cay the baked goods.

In 1982, with a loan from a supportive friend George started his last business endeavour - a lubricant consultancy. With $200 remaining from the loan he received his first order. The success of the business allowed George and Cay to indulge their love of travel for many years.

George's interests were numerous and wide ranging. He never shied away from a challenge or hesitated to try something new. He was also a consummate collector of all manner of interesting things. If you needed something – George probably had one.

George will be missed for his generosity, humour, vibrant spirit, endless curiosity, gratitude for his life and family, and wise counsel. In his own words; "if you have known me, you have walked the road with one of the luckiest men in the world…Bless you all."

A celebration of George's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice, solve someone's problem, make someone smile, it's what dad would have done. Memorial Condolences can be made at

To send flowers to the family in memory of George Rodgers Burns, please visit our flower store.


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