Cover photo for Francis W. Burns's Obituary
Francis W. Burns Profile Photo
1950 Francis 2022

Francis W. Burns

June 15, 1950 — September 1, 2022

Massena- Francis W. "Frank" Burns, 72, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday September 1st, 2022, at Upstate Community Campus in Syracuse. Arrangements are entrusted to the Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop.

Frank was born in Massena, to the late Walter Gerald "Peanut" and Margaret A.(Potter) Burns on June 15th, 1950. He graduated from high school, and married Margaret M. Laforce on March 29th, 1969 at St. Joseph's Church in Massena. They shared a marriage of 44 years of a loving relationship until her passing on November 2, 2013.

He worked at ALCOA in Massena, retiring after 28 years as a mechanical supervisor in smelting. 

Francis was a dedicated member of the Helena Fire Department in which he served for 48 years, the majority served as Chief. Frank was an instrumental part of building the present fire station in Helena, and acquiring the newest fire engine.

He earned many certificates of training during his years, and served his community in so many ways. Frank was an EMT, a county fire instructor, a county deputy coordinator, known by everyone as "Car 10", served as the Town of Brasher Superintendent of Highways and then as a councilman. 

Francis is survived by his children, Susan (Michael) Arquiett of Brasher Falls, and Aaron Burns of Charlotte, NC, his companion; Carol Carney of Massena, his siblings; Jane Lantry of Brasher Falls, John (Denise) Burns of Brasher Falls, Kathy (John) LaForce of Chase Mills, an aunt; Katherine Foley of Massena, as well as 4 grandchildren; Erin Graves, Zachary, Styles and Lukas Arquiett, and 4 great grandchildren; Savanna Graves, Harper, Hadley and Asher Arquiett. He will be greatly missed by many friends, nieces, nephews and other family members. 

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday September 6th, 2022, at the Helena Fire Department, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM, with Last Call at 2:00PM. Frank will be laid to rest with his wife Margaret, at St. Patrick Cemetery in Brasher Falls. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Helena Volunteer Fire Department, at 1175 NY-37C, Helena, NY 13649. Words of comfort can be shared with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Francis W. Burns, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

10:00am - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Last Call Ceremony

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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