paul burris’ obituary

PAUL BURRIS: A REAL HERO

Paul Burris Emporia Kansas

Photo courtesy of the Emporia Gazette

1925 – 2012
Far too many of our modern politicians have forgotten what patriotism is.  We never had to worry about that happening with Paul Burris.  Paul was a “throwback” in every since of the word — a modern day John Walton.  He was the epitome of the hard working American man who not only understood his duty to serve his country and take care of his family, but carried out those duties to their fullest extent. 

He was married to the same woman for nearly seven decades.  He was an entrepreneur and businessman.  He was a family-man who raised seven children.  And although it’s an overused cliche, he was the sort of person who would have literally given you the shirt off his back if you needed it.  Paul was a one of a kind.  Just ask anyone who knew him.  Yes; Paul cut a wide swath in the Emporia, Kansas area.  Sadly; last weekend he passed away in his home.   He was one of the last of a dying breed — America’s “Greatest Generation” —– one of the GIANTS I wrote about a few weeks ago. 

Paul was buried with full military honors on the kind of September day that only God could have blessed us with.  One of his fellow VFW members, Lee Hoskins, delivered a moving eulogy, and then the service ended with both a 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps —- honors that were earned through real sacrifice.   Paul; you are already missed.  Paul Burris is the father of my best friend Rick.

Paul’s obituary from the Emporia Gazette.
Although this obituary does not do him the justice that Michael did with his reading, it will have to do. 

Paul was born May 28, 1925 in McDonald KS to Edgar and Gladys (Jayne) Burris. He graduated from Emporia High School in 1943 and was drafted into the Army, where he served in the 8th Air Force as a tail gunner on a B-24. He was stationed in England, flying bombing missions. He was in the first group to fly over the English Channel on D-Day. His crew went down over Sweden, where he was interred before returning to England and then home. On January 27, 1944, he married Ilene Haughton, his wife of nearly 69 years. He attended, and graduated from, Watchmaker School and later joined two brothers in operating a jewelry store in Hosington KS. He returned to Emporia and worked for Stephen’s Furniture/Appliance Store for 22 years. He opened the Appliance Center for several years and remained on as the service manager after selling the business to Hill’s. Since retirement, he has served as a volunteer at Newman Regional Health and the Sertoma train in Soden’s Grove Park . His memberships include: Sertoma (over 50 years – serving a term as president), American Legion Post 5 (over 60 years – including serving as commander), Sr. and Jr. American Legion Drum Corps (quartermaster), Jaycees, VFW Post 1980. He is a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Emporia.

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