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Leo Burns, 98, dies
Monday, July 15, 2013 - from the USTA Communications Department

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Columbus, OH --- Leo A. Burns, 98, died July 13, 2013, at Wabash General Hospital in Mt. Carmel, Ill.

Mr. Burns was born Feb. 21, 1915, in Tama, Iowa, to William Dowell and Dessee Westerfield. He was united in marriage June 12, 1946, in Missouri to Marjorie L. Mann, who died Sept. 22, 2003.

Mr. Burns was a Standardbred trainer and driver. In July 2012, he became the oldest known winning driver in the sport when he piloted his 8-year-old mare, Winsome Wyoming, to victory in the fifth race at the Wayne County Fair in Fairfield, Ill. USTA records show him with 254 career driving wins and earnings of $301,933.

He was a member of the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, the USTA and the Albion Moose Lodge.

Mr. Burns is survived by his sons, Douglas Vavra (Carolyn) and Ed; five grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; three sisters; and two brothers.

Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday (July 17) at Nale’s Funeral Home in Albion, Ill. A graveside service will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Friday (July 19) at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens in Marshalltown, Iowa.


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