Friday, August 10, 2007

Lee Burris Obituary

U.S. Army Chaplain and former Grace Brethren pastor Lee Burris went to live with his Lord and Savior, Jesus, on August 4, 2007, passing peacefully in sleep in the Sacramento, California, area.

Burris was born January 22, 1925, in Indianola, Oklahoma, the son of a migrant farm worker. A veteran of 20 years, he served in Navy in WWII and in the Army as a Chaplain, including two tours in Viet Nam, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel. After his service in the military he served as a pastor of several churches, including Fremont (Ohio) Grace Brethren Chapel, where he pastored from 1976-1979.

Lee Burris graduated from Biola University in 1952 and Talbot Seminary in 1955 with a Bachelor of Divinity and in 1969 with a Master of Divinity. He was ordained as a minister in the Grace Brethren Church in the Northwest District in 1957.

He was married to Lois Paxton on June 10, 1950, and they had four children, Margaret, David, Robert, and Jonathan.

Burris leaves behind his wife of 57 years, four children, ten grandchildren, his brother Jack, and countless friends. He served the Lord preaching God’s Word and ministering daily to family, friends, and all those he met. He loved playing games, telling jokes, and visiting with family and friends. A memorial service was held at the Antelope Springs Community Church in Roseville, California.

He served as an enlistee in the U.S. Navy during WWII from 1943-1946, serving in the South Pacific and Australia. He served in the U.S. Army as a Grace Brethren Chaplain from 1958 to 1976, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel, followed by pastorates in Ohio and California.

He served two tours in Vietnam from 1966-1967 (Cam Ranh Bay) and 1969-1970 (Phu Bai). He received the Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars.

Upon his retirement from the Army chaplaincy in 1976, Lee wrote these comments . . . "I entered the Army chaplaincy in 1958. During this 17-year period I have pastored 12 Army chapels which included assignments in infantry divisions, troops in basic training and two tours to Vietnam.

“Opportunities to hold services and to witness were unlimited in this combat zone. The Army has really been a challenging ministry, which included holding chapel services on Sunday, showing of religious films, weekly Bible studies, prayer groups, and Christian Marriage Enrichment Seminars. Much of my time was spent in home visitations, marriage counseling, and talking with troops in the field. My wife and I thank the Lord for a rewarding ministry in the Army."

Dr. Larry Chamberlain, representing the Eagle Commission, said, “On behalf of the Active Duty, Reserve, and Retired Chaplains and the members of the Eagle Commission, we extend our sympathies to the family and commend Lee Burris CH (LTC), USA, Ret. for his courageous and distinguished service for God and Country.”

Grace Brethren chaplain’s endorsing agent John Schumacher recalled, “In 1970, Lee, Charles Bearinger, and I were all in Viet Nam at the same time. We met in Saigon and conducted a retreat for Charles’ soldiers. I knew Lee well.”

Burris’ sons, Bob, Jonathan and David are setting up a memorial for Lee D. Burris at Talbot Seminary, 13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, CA 90639, for the "Talbot Student Scholarship Fund."


Anonymous JEFF NICHOLS said...



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