Ronald J. Burns (Ron) died on Monday, March 12, 2018, in Jacksonville, FL. He was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, on Dec. 8, 1927.
Ron was the oldest of four siblings and excelled in school. During his youth in Fall River and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, he worked as a bowling alley pin setter, newspaper delivery boy and soda jerk. He was valedictorian of his high school class and voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” He joined the U.S. Army and served during World War II. He received an honorable discharge in 1947 and graduated from Brown University with a degree in economics in 1951. He later continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ron launched his career as a senior security analyst for J.P. Morgan and as a financial executive at the insurance company now known as CIGNA, working in New York City and Philadelphia. In 1964, he joined the Home Insurance Co. in New York, where he rose to executive vice president, serving as corporate treasurer and chief investment officer. He also worked in the energy business. In 1978, he moved to Boston, joining the Bank of Boston as chief investment officer. In 1985, he moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he founded Augustine Asset Management in Jacksonville, which grew rapidly to become a successful financial management firm. Ron served as its chief executive for many years before stepping down in his 80s. He also served as a corporate director at AmeriFirst Bank in Miami, becoming interim chief financial officer and later acting chief executive officer.
Ron was a natural athlete who could play almost any sport well. He was a lifelong golfer who for years maintained a single-digit handicap. He golfed at most of the world’s great courses, from Augusta National to Gleneagles in Scotland, and he loved THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass. He was a longtime active member of the Sawgrass Country Club, The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and The Plantation Country Club in Florida, as well as the Shorehaven Golf Club and Wee Burn Country Club in Connecticut. Ron enjoyed playing tennis, basketball and family skiing vacations in New England. He loved to read, especially newspapers, and he often clipped stories to share with friends and family. He was a movie buff with close to 1,000 DVDs, and he could recite famous lines of dialogue. Among his favorite flicks was “Casablanca,” the 1942 World War II classic. He enjoyed contemporary movies as well.
Ron is survived by his wife, Carol, of Jacksonville, and four children: daughters Rebecca Burns of Chicago; Donna Charlton (William) of New Vernon, New Jersey; Diana Derivan (Steve) of Norwalk, Connecticut; and son Greg Burns (Lisa) of Wilmette, Illinois. He is survived by seven grandchildren: Elizabeth Mendez (Mike), Laura Spiegel (Keenan), Bill Charlton, Vanessa Charlton, Matt Burns, Jenny Burns and Lindsey Burns. He has a great grandchild, Emily, born in 2018, and another on the way shortly. He is also survived by his sisters Pauline Gill (Tom) and Madeleine MacDonald (Mac), as well as his former wife, Trudy Burns. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert, in 2017, and by his parents Lawrence and Adrienne Burns.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 13 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 9800 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his memory to Catholic Charities, 134 E. Church St., Jacksonville, FL 32202, or to Northeast Florida Community Hospice, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257.
Arrangements by Neptune Society-Jacksonville, (904) 733-4510.