Cover photo for Bobbie Burns's Obituary
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1938 Bobbie 2024

Bobbie Burns

June 27, 1938 — April 26, 2024

Twin Falls

Freestyle Pioneer & Father of ‘The Ski’ - Bobbie Burns, 85, passed peacefully with one last hug from his daughter on Friday, April 26th in Twin Falls. He was born in Athol, Idaho on June 27th, 1938 to Bertha ‘Peggy’ Simmons and Charles Burns. He was the eldest son, second child, and rebel of the bunch. He mostly grew up in Ogden, Utah with his mother, loving stepfather, Elmor Nelson, and five siblings – Shirley, Larry, Stephen, Darlene & Suzanne. With a proclivity towards movement, he became a springboard diver and gymnast. It wasn’t until after high school that he fell in love with skiing. He went to Weber State University for his undergraduate studies and then on to the University of Washington for a master’s in chemical engineering while working for K2 on Vachon Island, but in between, he discovered the magic of Sun Valley.


Bobbie emerged from the ski scene in the 1960s for his inimitable style and big personality. He picked lines that were unique; beautiful to behold, and attacked moguls with both grace and ferocity, but always with a huge smile on his face. Bobbie was an artist in many ways, but snow was his favorite canvas.


After designing race skis for K2, he started his very own indie ski brand “The Ski” in Sun Valley. Those stacked brightly colored blocks with no written logo remain today as one of the most identifiable topsheets in the history of the sport. In 1974, he appeared on the famous Powder Magazine cover showing off his wheelie “Burns Turn” with a full-on base up view of The Ski. While churning out custom-made skis over the years he created a sweater line and began designing ski apparel. In 1980, he married Cherie Burns Hansen and she helped him launch the Bobbie Burns Collection with stores in both Ketchum and Park City through the 1990s and 2000s. In 2012, Bobbie joined forces with Scott Europe to resurrect “The Ski” and it went on to win the Ski of the Year in Europe. In 2020, he was awarded a place in the US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.


His impact in the ski industry was not necessarily his product contributions as a snow sport builder, but rather his spirit. Bobbie embodied the spirit of skiing. He was in his element on the mountain, fully present with joy and appreciation. You just couldn’t help but be inspired by him. His attitude, his excitement, his revelry, his lore – those were Bobbie’s greatest gifts to the world. When faced with any challenge or adversity, he would often say, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you know nothing better than to try.”


He is survived by his daughters & grandchildren. His ex-wife and best friend, Cherie Burns Hansen, their daughter, his eldest, Montana Burns, her husband, PJ McHenry, and their children, Vera and Bruce McHenry, and his youngest, Deva Burns along with her sister, Leyla Ba, and their mother Tyia Wilson.


For those of you who knew Bobbie, his memory and joyous nature live on in each of us. He absolutely treasured being a father, his friends, and this valley. His family will plan a celebration of life later this year to spread his ashes in Ketchum. Thank you to everyone who loved him and was there for him through the years. That’s all that really matters in the end, and we look forward to sending him off in style with his beloved community. Please stay in touch with Montana if you would like more information.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bobbie Burns, please visit our flower store.


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