Geoffrey Oliver Burns was born February 28th, 1992. He was a brilliant, kind, and curious kid, who grew up in Corona del Mar, California. He attended Harbor Day School, followed by Sage Hill high school, where he excelled in Science, Language, and Math, earning many academic awards and accolades, including AP Scholar with Distinction, and National Merit Scholar awards. He also was a member of the National Junior Classical League, in which he earned the title of California State Champion for his outstanding design and performance with the catapults and trebuchets that he built. Outside of school, he competed in track and field, was a member of the All American Boys Chorus, and achieved his Eagle Scout Badge at the age of 16. In the fall of 2011, he had just begun his sophomore year studying Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Quantum Physics at Carnegie Mellon University, when he tragically passed away after receiving improper treatment at a Pennsylvania hospital for his injuries sustained in a car accident.
A memorial service honoring Geoff was held at his high school in the fall of 2011, and was attended by hundreds of people who loved and celebrated him. In 2016, his father accepted an honorary posthumous degree awarded to him by Carnegie Mellon University. He was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara, and is survived by his father Richard, his sister, Samantha, and anyone who dares to take the road less traveled.
Geoffrey was an old soul, a lover of animals, an appreciator of classical music, and a fan of talk radio. He had an unassailable sense of right and wrong, always stood up for what was right, and could consistently be trusted to order the filet. He had a wicked sense of humor, and wasn’t afraid to challenge his peers and speak his mind. He was as good a listener as he was a speaker, and achieved a level of confidence in who he was by the time he was a teenager that most people can’t in a full lifetime. He left an impression here on earth and we are better for it, but he was always destined for more than our corner of this little solar system could offer him, so look out Universe, you’ve got a good one coming your way.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.