J. Sehl Burns, 79, of Syracuse, NY, “The Legendary Voice of Nottingham High School Athletics”passed away June 17, 2023, with his loving wife Linda by his side after a long battle with dementia. Jake or Sehl as he was affectionately known by so many, was the third of six sons, born to the late James P. Burns, Jr. and Grace W. Burns of Dewitt, NY.
Sehl attended Central High School and was a 1962 graduate of William Nottingham High School where he enjoyed tremendous success as an All-City Half Back on the schools championship football team.
Early in his academic career Sehl earned degrees from both Onondaga Community College, 67’ and Brockport State University, 69’. After graduating from Brockport State, Sehl entered the United States Marine Corp where he earned the rank of L/CPL before he was honorably discharged. Following his military career, Sehl continued his education by earning a final degree from Simmons College of Mortuary Science, 75’.
A lifelong resident of Syracuse and local entrepreneur, Sehl was most proud of his family and supported his children from a young age in a wide range of activities and athletics. From peewee hockey at the State Fair Coliseum to the stands of the Carrier Dome, he was their number one supporter.
In his free time, Sehl loved to volunteer in his community. He was an avid historian who founded and chaired the Committee for the Preservation of Central High School. He also served on the Syracuse City School District Ad-Hoc Committee for Central Tech. and served as the chairman for the 75th Anniversary of Graduates for Nottingham High School. Sehl served as President of the Corcoran High School Booster Club in the 90’s and was a member of both the Fayetteville and Syracuse Chapters of Rotary Club.
Additionally Sehl volunteered around the community offering complimentary Flag Etiquette Education and Flag Pole Preservation. He enjoyed guiding tours at Nottingham High School where he was inducted into the Nottingham Hall of Fame in 2008. He loved sharing his service dog Baxter with residents of Menorah Park Senior Living Center in Dewitt NY where he volunteered his time before becoming a resident there himself.
Sehl is predeceased by his parents James P. Burns, Jr. and Grace W. Burns and his daughter Hilary. He is survived by his devoted wife Linda Burns of 40 years, his six children and 20 grandchildren, Meredith, Kirk Rother (Chase, Carson, Lillian, Cannon), J. Sehl, 4th, Erica Burns (Hilary, J. Sehl, 5th, Ralph, Evalyn, Mitchell), Michael, Emily Monroe (Tyler, Logan) Edward Burns, Phoebe, Brad Hollrock (Jackson, Grant, Avery, Hollis, Abby) and Jeff, Aileen Monroe (Elizabeth, Samantha, Matthew, Anthony). He is survived by his five brothers, James P., 3rd (Mary), Donald (Barbara), Doug (Susie), Dean (Gretchen), Chris (Sandy) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
We welcome family and friends to calling hours at Burns Garfield Funeral Home, Tuesday June 27, 2023 from 4pm-7pm. Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Cross Church, Wednesday June 28, 2023 at 10am followed by a graveside service with Military Honors at the Burns Family Plot in Oakwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration.