Michael Edward Burris, 71, of Wilmington, Delaware passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
Michael was born in Evansville, Indiana on March 17, 1949 to the late Jewel Edward and Susie Jane (Isham) Burris. An older sister, Sue Ellen, passed away within hours of her birth. He had two younger siblings, Nancy and Kent. Raised in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, Michael held fond memories of his younger years, learning the value of hard, honest work and developed a love of God, his family, and his country.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Michael enlisted in the United States Navy, where he was trained in installation and repair of electrical devices. He proudly served his country aboard the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy for three separate tours to the Mediterranean. He earned numerous accolades related to his military service, including the National Defense Medal.
It was in Bainbridge, Maryland, during his time in the Navy, that he met his future wife, Grace. They were married on June 12, 1971. Michael remained a faithful and devoted husband and treasured his role as father to three beautiful daughters. To Michael, supporting and loving his family was a central purpose of his life on earth.
Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Michael received employment with IBM as a customer service engineer, responsible for troubleshooting and repairing technical problems with mainframe computers. Over his 30 years of service with IBM, Michael was honored countless times for his exceptional work, including a National Division All-Star Award in 1984. Michael retired from full time employment with IBM in 2004.
Since his retirement from IBM, Michael actively participated in religious service with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as a sealer in the Philadelphia temple and treasured the opportunity to seal families for eternity. He loved serving in the temple with Grace for over 10 years. He valued his positon as Post Commander of the American Legion First State Post 29, and also served on various committees within the American Legion Department of Delaware. In addition, Michael served as a Deputy Representative of the Veterans Administration Volunteer Services for the American Legion to the Wilmington VA Medical Center, and he was honored to volunteer transporting veterans to their medical appointments. He enjoyed fishing and kayaking, as well as playing softball, volleyball and pickle ball.
Michael is survived by his wife of 48 years, Grace (Vesnaver) Burris and their three daughters, Laura Cullen (Jason) of Danville, KY, Becky Smith (David) of Dayton, OH, and Sarah Goit (Matthew) of League City, TX; his siblings, Nancy English (Jim) and Kent Burris (Jenny) of Evansville, IN. He remains the proud Pop-Pop ("Popeye") of 15 grandchildren.
In all his endeavors, Michael found a sense of meaning and joy. He is remembered as kind and loving, always ready with a hug or an uplifting work. A master storyteller, Michael treasured his associations with others. The twinkle in his eye that accompanied his heartfelt smile will remain a cherished memory for all who knew him.
Family and friends are invited to visit at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 143 Dickinson Lane, Wilmington on Friday, November 8 from 9:00-10:45AM. Funeral services will begin at 11:00AM, immediately followed by interment in Silverbrook Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Michael may be made to the United States Navy Memorial Fund, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2608 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To send flowers to Michael's family, please visit our floral section.