Paul Burns Sr.

Paul Burns Sr., the founder of Paul Burns Electrical Contracting in Southold, died Tuesday, June 7, 2022. He was 89.

Paul was born in Mineola, N.Y., on July 30, 1932, to Thomas J. Burns and Clara Domenichelli. He had an older brother, Thomas J. Burns Jr.

Paul graduated from Great Neck High School in 1950 and went on to study at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, now known as NYU Tandon School of Engineering. In 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as a mechanic until his discharge in 1956.

Two years later, Paul would meet the woman who would be by his side for the next 55 years, Judith McDermott. Paul and Judy’s parents lived across the street from each other and they were introduced to each other at a clambake at the McDermott home. They married on June 28, 1958, in Westbury, N.Y.

The young couple grew their family while living in Carle Place, welcoming their three children, Cathleen, Paul R. Jr. and Nancy. They also owned and ran the Carle Place Service Center from 1960 to 1970. In 1970, the family moved to Southold, N.Y., where Paul started Paul Burns Electrical Contracting, which he operated until 1994, when he sold it to his son.

Paul and Judy loved to travel, primarily in the many campers they owned over the years. And in 1994, they started a lengthy retirement and fulfilled a dream of traveling the country in their RV full-time. Over the next 19 years, they would visit all 50 states, every Canadian province and every national park, which were their favorites.

Travel, however, was not his only hobby. Paul had an appreciation for classical music and a keen interest in computers. When personal computers were just coming out, Paul began writing his own computer programs for his business as well as to organize his music collection.

Paul was also active in the Southold community. He served as a trustee at Southold United Methodist Church in the 1970s and ’80s and then as an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Southold in the early 2000s.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, brother and wife, Judy. 

He is survived by his three children, Cathleen (Ron) Wist, Paul “Bob” (Liz) Burns Jr. and Nancy (Cara) Fischer; his five grandchildren, John (Lauren) Wist, Marc (Liz) Wist, Ben Fischer (Bonnie), Rachel Burns and William Burns; and five great-grandchildren, Eliot, Evelyn and Emilia Wist, and Cullen and Quaid Wist. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at First Presbyterian Church of Southold. 

Memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Southold, P.O. Box 737, 53100 Main Road, Southold, NY 11971 or Southold Fire Department Rescue Squad, 55135 Main Road, P.O. Box 1469, Southold, NY 11971.

This is a paid notice.