JOHNNEY JUNIOR BURRIS
Funeral services for longtime Cortez resident Johnney Junior Burris will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Ertel Memorial Chapel. Interment will follow at Cortez Cemetery. Pastor Rick Gregory will officiate. A reception will follow the funeral service at the Ute Mountain American Legion Post #75 in Cortez.
Johnney was born November 10, 1930 in Plum Valley, Mo. the son of John Oren and Buena Mae (Hill) Burris. He passed away on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at his residence at the age of 82.
Johnney grew up on the family farm in Success, Mo. He attended school and graduated high school in Houston, Mo. After graduating high school, he was drafted into the United States Army on March 26, 1952. He served his country during the Korean War from 1952 to 1955. Johnney served in the 6th Tank Battalion as a tank driver. He earned the Good Conduct Medal. His Battalion was stationed at Jobado Island, a Japanese Prison Camp. They were scheduled and prepped to head to the front line when word was received of the war ending. After the war, Johnney served in the Army Reserves for five years, being discharged in 1960 from the reserve.
While serving in the reserve, Johnney met the love of his life, Cretia Idonna Morelock, while on a double date with Cretia's sister. Johnney and Cretia were married in Lovington, N.M. on October 12, 1955. They lived in Midland, Tex. where Johnney worked for Northern Natural Gas for 17 years. Johnney always had a passion and a knack for repairing and rebuilding cars and had a "shop" in his driveway. He sold many cars from that location.
Johnney and Cretia had three children, Frank, Donna, and Johnney Wayne. Johnney, Creita and children moved to Cortez in May of 1971 and built Johnney's Service Station across from the cemetery in Cortez. At this time, Johnney's Service Station was the only independent "FULL" service station in Cortez. Johnney always checked your oil, washer fluid, tire pressure and cleaned your windshield. People even came during the middle of the night for gas. Several will remember Johnney dispensing advice and scoldings for "FREE".
After they sold the station in 1981, Johnney went to work for the U.S. Forest Service, working in maintenance, trails, and where needed. He retired from the Forest Service in 1995 after 12 years.
In 1982, Johnney and Cretia moved into the family home east of Cortez. Johnney began having "Yard Sales" and collecting treasures at the family home which he continued to do up until this fall. Johnney also had a passion and a skill of wood working, building and repairing beautiful pieces of furniture which he sold or gave away. Those recipients will cherish the pieces they received.
Johnney and Cretia loved to hunt and fish, especially fishing! The couple spent many hours at all of the local lakes and Lake Powell. He also enjoyed eating and sharing his 'catch'.
Johnney was preceded in death by his parents, John and Buena Mae Burris; and his wife, Cretia of 56 years. Surviving Johnney are his three children, Frank Burris and wife Myra, of Cortez, Donna Weems and husband Rick, of Corinth, Tex., and Johnney Wayne Burris and girlfriend, Tiffany Sweat of Green River, Utah. Also surviving Johnney are 15 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren; special friend, Jody Dobbs; a number of cousins, and a host of many, many friends made throughout the years. Johnney will be missed by All!!!!!
Memorial contributions can be made in Johnney's name to Hospice of Montezuma, P.O. Box 740, Cortez.