San Quentin Prisoner Writes Unique Obituary Before His Passing

Editor’s Note: George Burns passed away on Oct. 16, 2013. Burns was one of the eight inmates honored at a memorial service held in the Protestant Chapel on Nov. 15, 2013. He was the youngest of the inmates. Last year he took a journalism class held by Patten College. One of his assignments was to write his own obituary. Here is what he wrote:

Mr. Burns went to Highlands High in Sacramento. He participated in track and played football his freshman year for Highlands High.

He loved to cook different types of food. He was a very good cook. He enjoyed reading, writing, fishing, fixing up old cars, and listening to music. His favorite music was rap, which Tupac was his favorite rapper. He was also good at drawing.

Mr. Burns’ funeral will be held June 18, 2012, at 10 a.m. The burial will take place at Sunset Lawn, 1900 Sunrise Blvd. in Sacramento, California 95678.

George was born in Sacramento Nov. 29, 1971, to Don Weatherspoon and Shirley Smith. He married Cherish Proctor in Sacramento, where they lived with their son.

Mr. Burns was a student in Patton College, where he was trying to achieve his A.A. degree in basic education. Also, he was a writer for the San Quentin Guild Journalism class.

He was able to make the following achievements in his life. George obtained his high school diploma and completed a course in business. He finished top of his class in janitorial duties, and in computer class.

He worked at San Quentin’s kitchen where he was a leadsman and was the founder of Fathers Doing Positive Things (FDPT,) where he worked hard giving back to the community.

He was also a big brother sponsor to the Boys Club. He was the heart and soul of his family. His love for family and friends was evident in his daily life, and he touched the lives of many. He was known to his family and friends as a good guy who spoke his mind. George was the type of person that loved helping those that were less fortunate and needed help. His heart was made of gold, and everyone who crossed paths with him enjoyed having him around. He was very protective of those who were close to him.

Mr. Burns was always trying to find something positive he could do to help others.

Mr. Burns’ early life was rocky; he was in and out of jail. He was the founder of the North Highlands Gangsta Crips in which his gang involvement led him to commit a shooting that landed him in prison for 31 years and 8 months.


During this time is when he started changing his ways and attitude toward life. George begun to get involved in things that would benefit his future. He enrolled in Patton College and started writing for San Quentin Journalism Guild. His going to college and putting articles together for San Quentin News is how he spent his leisure time.


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