Mary "Joanne" Burris
Mary “Joanne” Burris of Broomfield, Colorado passed away late Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, after a heroic flight against Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 83 years of age.
Born in Chicago, Illinois to Howard and Katherine Graham, she moved with her family to Flint, Michigan when she was 4-years-old. It was also at a young age that Joanne chose to start dancing and entertaining, when she performed a stirring rendition of “The Beer Barrel Polka” for her first grade class.
Having numerous family members working in the automobile industry, Joanne knew that wasn’t her calling, so after graduating from high school in 1952, she enlisted in the U.S. Air Force because “they had the better recruiting commercial.” For the first time in her life, Joanne traveled out of the Midwest when she was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for Basic Training. Although she was interested in being trained as a dental assistant or air traffic controller, Joanne received advanced training in administration before being assigned to the 405th Motor Vehicle Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
Joanne worked as a Personnel Administrator at Langley for 3 years before being assigned a new supervisor: a handsome young Staff Sergeant named Leonard Max Burris.
By January 1955, both Joanne and Max had been discharged from the Air Force and were married on July 2, 1955.
After living in the Dayton, Ohio area for 22 years, the Burris family relocated to the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook for 5 years before finally settling down in Broomfield in 1979.
Joanne lost her one true love in 2013 when Max passed away. Shortly thereafter, her health began to fail and despite her strong will, Joanne grew weary fighting the disease that tormented her. With family by her side, she went peacefully Home to be reunited with her one true love.
Joanne leaves behind many warm memories centered around her massive owl collection, her love of traveling and Merlot, and her endless support of her favorite team, the Colorado Rockies.
Mary Joanne is survived by her younger sister, Sr. Rose Graham, IHM of Monroe, Michigan, several aunts, uncles, and cousins as well as her children Michael (wife Donna) of Lakewood, Colorado, Vicki of Bolingbrook, Illinois, and Joy (husband Greg) of Westminster, Colorado. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren Savannah, Kymberlee, and Dr. Kyle Christensen (wife Maddy) as well as her great-grandchildren Trinity, Xzavior, Isabella, and Olliana. She is preceded in death by her brother, Bill, who resided in Mt. Morris, Michigan.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dignity Hospice 14707 E. 2nd Ave., Ste 220 Aurora, Colorado 80011 or the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association 455 Sherman St #500 Denver, Colorado 80203.