Leonard H. ‘Skee’ Burns, 84, started furniture store and Cape Henry Racquet Club

Leonard H. Burns (Courtesy of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts)
Leonard H. Burns (Courtesy of H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts)

Leonard H. (Skee) Burns, 84, of Virginia Beach, Virginia passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 5, 2015, to spend eternity with his Savior, Jesus Christ. Skee is predeceased by his parents, L.H. (Mickey) and Zee Burns.

Skee’s early years were spent in Norfolk where he attended Maury High School and made many lifelong friends. After serving in the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant, he returned to Norfolk with his bride and high school sweetheart, Dorothy Walker Burns. Moving to the oceanfront in the early 1950’s, they joined the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church, where he volunteered for youth ministries and capital campaigns to the Finance Committee.

Skee was the buyer and manager for Willis Furniture at Hilltop for many years before opening Burns Furniture Gallery in 1992, where he remained until his retirement. Skee enjoyed his business and volunteer associations, including the Southern Home Furniture Association, where he served as the Southeastern Regional President, a past president of the oceanfront chapter of the Rotary Club and a founding member of the Cape Henry Racquet Club. Along with a group of tennis, surfing and Christian friends, Skee assisted in bringing Young Life to Virginia Beach with the first chapter meetings held at the Cavalier on the Hill for many young high school students.

Skee is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of 62 years, and three children, Val (Don) Parnell, Kimberly (Jon) Goold, and son, Lenny Burns, and a sister, Mary Ellen Hawthorne, of Kitty Hawk, N.C., eight grandchildren, Josh (Amanda) Parnell, Ashley (Doug) Knapp, Courtland Parnell, Katerin Goold, Philip Goold, Lauren (Steve) Tignor, Clay Burns, Kelly Burns, and three great grandchildren plus numerous nieces and nephews.

A lifelong tennis player who enjoyed all water sports, he was a humble family man who always had a kind word, a funny story and a fast smile. A celebration of Skee’s life will be held on Thursday, December 10th at 3:00 p.m. at the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church on 19th Street at the Oceanfront. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Foundation at the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church or the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.

Condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.

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