Garey Burns was born in San Antonio, Texas on August 11, 1945, and died in Atlanta, Georgia on June 25, 2017, surrounded by loving family. He was the middle child of Ben Lewis Burns and Norma Rose née Newbanks. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1969 and served as a staff sergeant for a tour at Monkey Mountain, Vietnam. During this time, he was awarded the Bronze Star. Garey was known for his interest in electronics. In elementary school he built and broadcast from ham radios. He could take anything apart and put it back together. His interest in radio also included a love of the “oldies” music. Most of what he knew was self-taught and Garey often saw problems clearly when others were left behind. He was passionate about aviation and was around airplanes all of his life. He shared his love of aviation by teaching ground school and was a popular flight instructor. His love of flying led him to meet the love of his life, Juanita Motley, and together they had a son they named Travis. As a teenager, Garey was in the Civil Air Patrol and Travis is now following in those footsteps. Garey is survived by Juanita Motley, his wife, and their son Travis George Burns. He has two children from a previous marriage, including a son named Michael (wife Tracie) who is father to his grandchild, Harrison Burns. Garey is also survived by his sister Cherie Rose (Rusty) Thompson (husband Irwin) and brother Glenn Lewis Burns (wife Catherine). A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at Wages and Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30046. 770-277-4550 He will be missed by his many friends and loved ones. Garey, may the wind be always at your back and blue skies above. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider a donation, in memory of Garey, to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Bldg. 6, Suite 300, 3525 Piedmont Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305. Online condolences can be expressed at

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  1. So very sorry to hear about Garey’s untimely passing. I first met Garey in 1967. He and I were assigned to the 620th Tactical Control Squadron located on the Son Tra peninsula in Vietnam about 15 miles from DaNang Air Base. . Both of use shared the same Air Force Specialty and were the only two Tech Controllers on the site so we split our shifts. He handled days and I handled nights. When our tour was completed in Vietnam, Garey and I were both assigned to the AUTODIN center at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma. We completed our enlistment there and moved on to our next life’s adventure.. Although we would cross paths a few times in Atlanta in the early seventies we lost touch as built our families and careers. Through a veteran website we found each other again. Garey was a dear friend who always had kind words for everyone and had great sense of humor. He also was very giving. While in Vietnam he decided to forego his R&R and gave it to me instead. I will forever be indebted for the days he allowed me to spend on R&R in Sydney, Australia. While he is no longer with us, I can still remember his infectious smile and unique chuckle. I wish all the best for Garey’s family and hopefully the inner strength to persevere through this most difficult of times. While he may be gone from our lives there is a bit of him that lives on within all of us who knew him.

  2. Love & miss you dad. You are thought of daily. You are thought of daily. Laughing & remembering fun times. You made so many people laugh. I know you are happy & healthy in Heaven. See you one day.

    Love you dad,

  3. On March 9, 2018 Garey W. Burns was honored and his cremains interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The incredibly respectful and reverent service by Arlington staff, presided by Major Schlenz, Chaplain USAF and Airmen of the United States Air Force was an honor was well deserved by Garey as a Bronze Star recipient of the Air Force for his distinguished service in Vietnam. Members of his family attending the service were his wife Juanita Motley and their son Travis G. Burns, son Michael Burns and his son Harrison, sister Cherie Thompson, brother Glenn Burns and his wife Catherine, Sister-in-law Carol Motley and her daughter Alicia Linder. Garey loved aviation and electronics and was an avid pilot, instructor, and flying partner with his wife Juanita for 27 years. Garey now has a personal hangar at Arlington National Cemetery with many planes regularly flying overhead from Washington/Reagan National Airport.

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