OBITUARY

William "Bill" E. Burrus Jr.

13 February, 19267 July, 2020

William E. “Bill" Burrus passed away July 7, 2020 at the age of 94. He boarded his chariot wearing his famous Lady Bug blazer to meet Jesus. Heaven just got a little brighter. Bill was drafted out of his senior year at West End High School and within months was part of the Battle of the Bulge. Returning home, Bill attended the University of Alabama before beginning his career, 13 years with Dale Carnegie and over 50 years in the insurance and financial planning industry. In 1978, Bill hired Shirley Brown Hawk. This began a working relationship that lasted 40 years until her passing in 2018. With Bill as the salesman and Shirley as the Girl Friday, they built Burrus & Associates into a very successful business, and along the way developed a lifelong friendship. In 2010, at the age of 84, Bill began a joint venture with Joel McGriff forming The McGriff Burrus Alliance, of which he was still active until a few months ago. His positivity and love of country were incredible, and his pep talks to clients, associates, friends and family were legendary. No one left Bill without a smile and in a better frame of mind. Bill was past Chairman of the Alabama Eye bank, and for over a decade was Chairman of the Board of Sight Savers America. His actions allowed many children to have the gift of sight. He is and was revered and loved by its CEO, Board of Directors and staff. He was lifetime member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, past Chairman of the Salvation Army in Shelby County, past District Governor of the Lions Club, a member of the Birmingham Aero Club, and the Inverness Country Club. Bill loved to fly, play golf and dance and was known for dancing with every lady in the room-always. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Edith Burrus, his sisters, Ruth Estes (Cliff) and Edith Brown (Erskine), his brother Charles Burrus, his sons, Bill Burrus, III, and David Burrus and his grandson, Stephen Christopher Lucas. He leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Ercelle, his daughter, Laura Lucas (John), his son Danny Burrus (Cece), his daughter-in-law Christi Burrus McQueen (Mickey), 14 grandchildren, Maretta Ashford (David), Catherine Agricola (Taylor), Allison Leaver (Ben), Abby Lucas, Ryan Burrus, Stephanie Burrus, Caitlyn Burrus, Tyler Burrus (Brittany), Leah Burrus, Adam Burrus, Jonathan Burrus (Keri), Samantha Pate (Eric) and Blake Scozzaro (Giovanna), 16 great-grandchildren, Brannen, Andrew, Mason and Charlie Ashford, Stephen, John and Ann Agricola, Trafton and Eady Leaver, Andrew, Jayce and Breanna Burrus, Maddi and Brooks Pate, and Gabriel and Jonah Scozarro, several nieces and nephews, and his beloved Cavalier Spaniel, Charlie. The family would like to express their deep gratitude for Bill’s special caregivers over the last year and a half. Their love and compassion kept his spirits high and gave the family much needed rest and peace of mind. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on July 14th at 11:00 am at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 7340 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham, Al 35242. Visitation will be at 10:00 am prior to the Mass. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery immediately following. Social distancing and masks will be required. It was Bill’s wish that, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to: Sight Savers America, 337 Business Circle, Pelham, AL, 35124 Services are under the direction of Ridout's Valley Chapel, Homewood, Al. Condolences and fond memories may be shared at ridoutsvalleychapel.com.

  • DONATIONS

  • Sight Savers America

Services

  • Friends are Cordially Invited to a Visitation

    Tuesday, 14 July , 2020

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Tuesday, 14 July , 2020

Memories

William "Bill" E. Burrus Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Phyllis Paulsen

28 July 2020

Our "Billy Boy" will sure be missed by so many of us. No one filled a room with more energy or life than Bill, and he made everyone he met feel special and before they walked away, they were his friend.
In 1986 I saw this big smiling "Dapper Dan" looking man walking towards me as we attended a titan dinner dance, and he had on his famous linen red jacket. I told him I sure liked his jacket and he opened it up to show me the silk lined layer of red lady bugs and with that his smile even got bigger as he saw the surprise on my face. We were instant friends and had fun for the next 34 years with him at Crown Capital and dancing at the dinner dances, laughing with his wife and our good friend, Ercelle, and being the last ones to leave at karaoke night. I know he is now singing and dancing with the angels in the choir in heaven and bringing them joy as he did for us. Billy Boy, we'll never forget you and never stop talking about all the laughs and joy you brought us and the fun things we did, and whenever I see a lady bug I will know you are near. We look forward to seeing you again at those Pearly Gates. You were and are simply the best! :)
Love, Phyllis and Darol Paulsen

Hugh Parks

13 July 2020

Bonnie and I met Bill and Ercelle in Honolulu where we were both attending an Insurance convention.

That 1979 meeting began a caring relationship that grew better each year.

Even though our Birmingham addresses were 750 miles apart (AL & MI), we felt like neighbors.

The joyful times we have been together will be remembered as a gift of love.

God speed Bill, you will always be in our hearts and minds.

Hugh & Bonnie Parks

George and Diane Jackson

12 July 2020

Bill was a wonderful friend. Bill loved life and lived a wonderful and fulfilling one. We never were with Bill that he didn't have that big happy smile on his face. He was so positive and loving. The best times we ever had were shared with Bill and his wife Ercelle when we shared a condo in Destin, Florida with them. When we were in Bill's company, we always had a smile as he was the kind of guy who made you happy when you were around him. Bill will truly be missed by his loving wife, family, and all who knew him.
George and Diane Jackson, Atlanta, Ga.

Michelle Ashman

10 July 2020

I had the privilege of knowing and working with Bill for many years through Sight Savers America. I NEVER saw him without a smile on his face or a kind word to say. He was truly loved by so many, including me. I will miss him greatly.

Pam Nichols

10 July 2020

I first met Bill over 30 years ago when he was my neighbor in Inverness. I was so happy when we crossed paths again in 2009 when we were able to honor him with an Honor Flight Birmingham trip to Washington D. C. to see the World War II Memorial. From that time on, we were great friends and I often called on him to help me by sharing his story of WWII military service at school programs; participate in programs at the Alabama National Cemetery; and more. He was an extraordinary man who humbly told of his service (always giving more credit to others) which included the Battle of the Bulge and helping to take Germany’s famous fortification, the Siegfried Line.
Even more, I remember and will miss my friend's smile and positive attitude toward life. To quote Bill from a few years ago, "It's been a good run honey."
He was one of my heroes and I will not forget him. My deepest condolences to Ercelle and all of Bill's family.

Dee Dee Sparks

10 July 2020

Mr Burrus was such a kind person and a true friend & supporter for all of us at Sight Savers America. He will truly be missed. Prayers for his wife and family and all those who knew and loved him.
Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Sincerely,
Dee Dee Sparks

From the Family
From the Family