Walter X. Burns Jr., 72, devoted family man and boater

Walter X. Burns, Jr., a lifelong resident of Cos Cob, died on February 12 at his home on River Road, at the age of 72.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carol, his older son, Christopher, his wife, Emily, and their three children, Ben, Catherine and Nick, of New Canaan, his daughter, Siobhan, and her partner, Ralph Sutton, of New York City, his younger son, Michael and his wife, Laurie, of Marina del Rey, Calif. and his brother, Kevin, of Cos Cob and sister, Mary Louise Brown, of Greenwich.

Walter was born on August 23, 1941 and grew up on Valleywood Road. His father, Walter X. Burns, Sr., was a prosecutor and then judge for the town of Greenwich and his mother, Margaret Mitchell Burns, was a dental hygienist in Greenwich.

Walter attended St. Catherine’s and Iona Prep, then graduated from Amherst College in 1963. He spent his career on Wall Street and he served a term on the Representative Town Meeting of Greenwich. Walter was also part of the team that opened and ran Tracks, a popular Old Greenwich bar and restaurant, and Applause Restaurant in Stamford.

Walter had many passions. He loved boats and was a member of Riverside Yacht Club for over 35 years and was also a member of Cos Cob Yacht Club, Mianus River Boat & Yacht Club and the Ponus Yacht Club. At Riverside, he organized and coached the Special Olympics sailing program for over 10 years, helping people with disabilities learn the pleasures of sailing. Walter was a fantastic cook, a jazz aficionado, and a lover of theater. More recently, he took up beekeeping, which involved quite a get-up. But more than anything, Walter loved being with his friends and family, lifting a glass and telling a story.

A memorial service with reception to follow will be held at Riverside Yacht Club on Thursday, February 27, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Walter’s honor be made to the Special Olympics (


—by the family

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