Welcome to the memorial page for

Rockne E. Burns

October 17, 1932 ~ May 7, 2017 (age 84)

Rockne Edward Burns, 84, of Cape Vincent, NY, peacefully passed away on May 7, 2017 surrounded by his family at his home on the St. Lawrence River.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home, Cape Vincent, NY.

Calling hours will be from 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm on Friday, May 12, 2017 at Cleveland Funeral Home’s Watertown location at 404 Sherman St., Watertown, NY, 13601. A funeral service will be on Saturday, May 13 at 11am at the St. Vincent of Paul Catholic Church in Cape Vincent, NY. A burial at Riverside Cemetery will be held at a later date. A celebration of life will take place Saturday after services at the American Legion in Cape Vincent, NY for anyone who wishes to attend.

Rockne was born in Clifton Springs, NY on October 17, 1932, the only child of Edward K. Burns and Christina (Vollersten) Burns, step-son of Cornelius (Case) DenDecker. He graduated from Newark High School and Cornell University with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army. Rockne started his career with The Army Corps of Engineers working on the International Bridge to Canada in Massena, NY. He later became Vice President of S.J. Groves and Sons Construction Company where he was responsible for several major construction projects throughout New York, as well as in California, Washington, and Texas. He was President and Owner of Tuscarora Construction Co., Inc. in Pulaski, NY, Willow Shores Corporation in Cape Vincent, NY, and he established R.E. Burns & Sons Co., Inc. in Statesville, NC.

Rockne was involved in numerous industrial and community organizations such as the Associated General Contractors of New York where he was past president, Trustee of the Operating Engineers Benefit Fund, and a member of American Arbitration Association. He was also involved with American Concrete Paving Association, Disputes Review Boards, Town Board of Pulaski, Oswego County IDA, Oswego County Goals 2000, Planning Board of Cape Vincent and the Cape Vincent Lyons Club. He was also a communicant of St. Vincent of Paul Church in Cape Vincent, NY.

Rockne is survived by his wife: Beverly M. Burns (Clark) of 63 years, his three sons: Edward C. Burns of Brewerton, Kevin C. Burns (Nancy) of Statesville, NC, Brian R. Burns (Linda) of Pulaski, six grandchildren: Melissa Burns (Fiancé Jeff), Kathleen Burns-Carne (Adam), Edward P. Burns (Rachel), Lindsey Burns Lucariello (Matt), Rockne B. Burns, Breann Burns and four great-grandchildren: Case and Jackson Burns, Claire and Cecelia Carne.

He will be remembered for his contagious sense of humor, his 5 O’clock wine time, and the incredible love he had for his family.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in memory of Rockne E. Burns to Saint Vincent of Paul Catholic Church in Cape Vincent, Hospice of Jefferson County, or a charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be made to


Charitable donations may be made to:

Hospice of Jefferson County
1388 Gotham Street, Watertown NY 13601

St. Vincent of Paul Catholic Church
139 N Kanady St., Cape Vincent NY 13618
Tel: 1-315-654-2662

 Service Information

May 12, 2017

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Cleveland Funeral Home
404 Sherman St.
Watertown, NY 13601

May 12, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cleveland Funeral Home
404 Sherman St.
Watertown, NY 13601

Funeral Service
May 13, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Vincent of Paul Church
139 N Kanady St.
Cape Vincent, NY 13618

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