John Alan Burris

July 28, 1945April 23, 2021

John was interested in collecting things, from stamps to movies and all things in-between. His knowledge of the English language made those who knew him groan, for he always had puns to inflict on those he was talking too. But in the same breath as a pun, there was always random knowledge to brighten your day.

When asked what he did, especially as a Major in the US Air Force, he explained that he was a civil engineer. At one point he was in charge of base disaster preparedness. This lead to the nickname of "Major Disaster".

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, 4 grandchildren, and his dog.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please make donations to Hadassah ( or Sun Health Foundation (


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Alan Burris

have a memory or condolence to add?

Thaddeus Rotzoll

May 4, 2021

I met Maj. Burris upon transferring into CES 928. He was an all-around good guy and helped me with my award by structuring the wording correctly and most "profitably" for the award. I retired soon after but always appreciated his expertise with the English language.
RIP Major Burris.
MSGT Thaddeus M. Rotzoll

Rich Drews

April 26, 2021

When Anne called to let us know that John had passed, Bonnie and I spent the rest of the day sharing our favorite memories of him and mourning that there would be no new ones. Each person in the Chicago area to whom I sent an email about John responded within minutes of opening it. One asked for his age. I responded with "76 going on 12." The email back said "A life well lived."

If we treasure a person by the kindness they show to animals and the people about whom they care the most, John will never be found wanting. He couldn't visit without getting down on the floor so our dogs could lick his face and crawl all over him until he could barely take a breath. I would love to have met his latest dog, Buddy, who knew a pushover when he met one. John was delighted with this dachshund, weimaraner, husky? cross who became his personal barnacle.

When I was visiting, John and Anne made me feel as if I were family. He is fondly remembered by his Chicago area philatelic friends who have sent me several of their favorite memories of John. One was of the gorgeous jewel box cakes he would make and share with us when we were planning major shows.

I don't know how to deal with the concept of an afterlife, but I've always favored people who made this current life better for those around them. It's hard to imagine the sense of loss felt by John's family, but what I gained by sharing time with him will last well beyond this current pain. I miss him and am so glad for his last call. He deserved a peaceful, dignified passing.