SKOWHEGAN – Ralph E. Burns, 79, died unexpectedly Nov. 2, 2006, at his home. He had just returned home after spending the evening with his dear friend and close companion, Phillis Russakoff. He was born Feb. 19, 1927, in Lubec, the son of Daniel and Agnes (Boyd) Burns. In 1944 he went to the Merchant Marine School, New York. On his first assignment with the merchant fleet, peace was declared and he returned to Lubec. In 1945 he was drafted into the Army and served with the occupation forces, Japan, in the 11th Airborne for 28 months, completing jump school in Sendai, Japan, and was then reassigned to the 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, N.C. He was honorably discharged in 1949 and returned to Maine. In 1950 he married his first wife, Helen (Miller) Burns. They were married for 25 years and raised a large family together. He worked many jobs in his lifetime, including being a local lobsterman, working aboard an oceanography research vessel for the University of Miami, eventually retiring from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local No. 1996. After retiring, he enjoyed traveling and lived several years on the island of Kaui, Hawaii. He was a life member of Washington Lodge No. 37, Lubec. He is survived by one son, Gregory Burns and wife, Louise, of Hillsboro, Tenn.; six daughters, Pamela Ashby and husband, Wayne, of Lubec, Julie Archer and husband, Dale, of Trescott, Peggy Mahar and fiance, Kim Crossman, of Orrington, Martha Burns and life partner, Robert Merrigan, of Lubec, Cathy Davidson and husband, William, of Seabrook, N.H., and Heather Lee and boyfriend, Dana Green, of Whiting; along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Raymond Burns; his son, Boyd Eugene Burns; and his second wife, Virginia Burns. Mason memorial services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at the Masonic Hall, Lubec. A graveside service will be held after the Masonic service at Corey’s Cemetery, Lubec, conducted by the Very Rev. Mark Nolette. Arrangements are under the direction of Smart and Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan.