Passed away in Elgin, Illinois on Monday, December 24, 2018. Jim was born January 24, 1937 in New Haven, Connecticut to James William Burns and Helen Wieliesz Burns. A quiet, modest and thoughtful man and a loving father, James was a scholar and avid reader with a Bachelor of Science from Central Connecticut State University, a Masters of Education in School Administration and a Doctorate of Education in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University. Jim dedicated his career to education and learning development, beginning as a public school teacher in Greenwich, Connecticut, which was the foundation of his distinguished career as a Professor of Education at Western Michigan University, where he retired in 2003. Having earned numerous teaching awards and recognition throughout his career including Western Michigan University's Teacher of the Year in 1988, Jim's passion for reading and fascination with child learning development led him to pioneer WMU's Reading Recovery program in 1990. He was a member of the International Reading Association, the Michigan Reading Association, and the National Reading Recovery Council of North America. Jim is survived by his three daughters Aime Burns-Harring, Kristin (Jorge) Sanson-Chirinos, and Katie (Stefan) Vaughn; and his eight beloved grandchildren. The oldest of five children, he is preceded in death by his sister Margaret Castellon, and survived by three siblings Joan Scarveles, Ida (Keith) Martin, and Daniel (Cheryl) Burns; and ten nieces and nephews and fifteen great nieces and nephews. In accordance with Jim's wishes, cremation has taken place. Internment will be at a later date in New Haven, Connecticut. A memorial in Jim's memory may be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.