Rick and Anna Burns are retiring, and the Bay Village landmark service station known and loved as Burns Auto will be occupied by Vivid Jewelers with exciting plans to renovate the historic building and street corner at Dover Center and Wolf Roads in Bay Village.
Bay Village interim Mayor Gary Ebert and City Council honored Rick Burns of Burns Auto with a proclamation Monday night.
Mayor Ebert noted that Rick started in the business at age 11, hanging out in his dad’s Unocal station and waiting to service cars when they pulled over the bell lines at the pumps.
Rick’s dad, Rich, purchased the Bay station in 1986 and Rick has worked there ever since. It was a family affair with Rick working alongside his father for many years. Rick has been a true friend to the community, even making house calls and loaning tools to customers. He has been an organizer of the Bay Village Halloween March for many years and has often pitched in to buy bikes for kids in in need. “Rick could always be counted on to help out his customers,” said Mayor Ebert. It was a family affair, too, with Rick’s mom, Ellen, doing the bookkeeping.
Rick is the seventh owner of the business. His father, Rich, bought it from Monty’ Sunoco in 1986 from Monty Harmoni and operated it for 14 years before Rick took over. In those days, five gallons of gas was one dollar, and the station was the last chance for service between Bay Village and Sandusky. Burns stopped selling gas in 1994.
Rick’s attention was focused on customer and community service. Rick was a friend to all, fixed bikes for kids in need, held bike raffles for needy children and was always ready to lend a hand with his distinctive smile on his face.
Now, Rick and Anna hope to spend more time with their growing family and maybe even make a cross-country motor home trip, hopefully to sunnier climes!