Benjamin Franklin Burns

November 2, 1938 ~ December 21, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Benjamin Burns Obituary

Benjamin Franklin Burns, 85, of South Bend, Indiana, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and entrepreneur passed away at home with his daughters by his side, on Thursday, December 21, 2023. 

Benjamin was born in Henning, Tennessee on November 2, 1938, to the union of Linzy and Sarah Burns. He moved to South Bend, in 1954 after graduating from Lauderdale County High School, as valedictorian. On August 9, 1960, he united in marriage to Elvira Williams. He worked for various companies including Clark Equipment Company in Buchanan, Michigan where he apprenticed to become a journeyman electrician; he also worked for A M General and Bendix. After acquiring his electrical license, he started Burns Electric Service and built a reputation as a man of integrity and a preferred contractor for area senior citizens. He valued neighborhood revitalization and worked as a subcontractor on numerous projects for The South Bend Heritage Foundation and as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He mentored young people who expressed interest in the trades and used his business to provide them with hands-on experience, which he did until he retired in 2012.


Burns was a man of faith; and accepted Christ early in life. He was a devoted member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and one of the founding members of New Life Fellowship Ministry. For many years he served as a deacon, the Sunday school superintendent, and financial secretary at New Hope. He was passionate about education and instilled that passion in his daughters. He sought out educational opportunities for the youth of New Hope to attend conferences and to hone their skills by participating in youth Sundays where the youth of the church assumed roles normally performed by adults. At the time of his passing, he was a member of Mt. Caramel Missionary Baptist Church.


Benjamin was preceded in death by his mother and father, Linzy and Sarah Burns; his wife Elvira Burns; an older brother Edward (Jean) Burns (Buchanan, MI) and sisters Sylvia (Luther) Kyle (South Bend), Mary (Lucien) Johnson (Chicago), Carrie Hicks (Saginaw, MI). 


Benjamin leaves to forever cherish his memory two daughters, Jacquelyn (Chris) Rucker of South Bend and Valerie Burns of Ringgold, Georgia; two grandchildren, Christopher (Carson) Rucker of Brooklyn, New York, and Jillian (Drew) Merkel of Cazenovia, New York; four great-grandchildren, Marcella Merkel (age 5), William Franklin Merkel (3 months old), Crosby Rucker (age 5), and Cameron Rucker (age 2). He also leaves a brother, David C. Burns plus a host of nieces, nephews, and friends to cherish his memory. 

In-lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Charles Martin ”Touch a Life” Scholarship

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January 3, 2024

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Mt. Carmel M.B. Church

South Bend, IN 46613

Funeral Service
January 3, 2024

12:00 PM
Mt. Carmel M.B. Church

South Bend, IN 46613


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