In Memory of Dennis E. Burns

Dennis E. Burns, 78, passed away gracefully on May 14, 2024, after a fight with cancer. Dennis was a loving and much-loved husband, father, and grandfather.

Dennis was born in Fort Worth, Texas on January 19, 1946, but often said that he made his way to New Mexico as soon as he could walk. He spent his early years in Alamogordo, New Mexico with his mother, Lois Burns, and his father Crittenden (Curly) Burns and his sisters Lynell Caton and Jerilyn Thornton who all preceded him in death. He moved with his family to Carrizozo, New Mexico when he was in high school and graduated from Carrizozo High School in 1964. Dennis then moved to Albuquerque to attend the University of New Mexico where he joined Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (FIJI) and made lifelong friends. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in Pharmacy and then he was off to a life of adventure and achievement. His first stop was Kailua, Hawaii where he worked at Hughes Drug.

In 1972 he married Martha Lyn Jackson of Albuquerque who joined him in Hawaii and accompanied him on an adventure of fifty-two years. Dennis's two adored daughters, Hayley and Evayn, were born in Honolulu. Hayley Lynell Purdy and her husband, Brian Purdy, and their son Holden Young Purdy reside in Portland, Oregon. Evayn Vanessa Lundquist and her husband Ben Lundquist and their children, Owen Dennis, Harrison Jay, and Alice Lyn reside in Monte Sereno, California. Dennis also leaves behind his loving sisters-in-law Alice Dillon and her husband Tim Dillon of Lake Oswego, Oregon and Claudia Russo of Albuquerque along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In 1984 Dennis earned a Masters Degree in Finance at the University of Hawaii before joining Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. His career spanned 24 years and took him to Stanford Medical Center in California, to the Roche campus in New Jersey, and to Basel, Switzerland. He traveled the world working for Roche. After starting as a Salesperson, he became a Product Director, a Business Unit Director and retired as Global Head, Business Development where he had implemented several major business deals. He was involved with Hivid, the 3rd drug marketed for HIV, Tamiflu and Rocephin to name a few. At Roche Dennis once again made lifelong friends and admired his colleagues greatly.

Dennis was a loving husband and father. He taught his daughters to love each other as sisters, to love music and dogs, to be achievers, to be great mothers and to be happy. Over the years he raised and walked hundreds of miles with his five beloved Jack Russell Terriers: Gnash, Harper Lee, Priss and finally Mitch and Willa who survive him. Dennis was also a distance runner and after long days of work he often went for his run. He ran many marathons and always finished strong.

After retiring from Roche, Dennis and Martha made their way to La Luz, New Mexico and bought a home in Cottonwood Canyon where Dennis hardly ever missed a sunset. He hiked in the Sacramento Mountains often and once again made dear friends. In 2018 Dennis and Martha moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he passed away in the loving care of his family.

Cremation has taken place and internment at Sunset Memorial Park will be private. The family is planning a Memorial in mid-July at Dennis and Martha's home in Santa Fe. Online invitations will follow with details. Please visit our online guestbook for Dennis at

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