Eric Anthony Burris was the son of the late James Burris and Bettye Burris. He was born April 23, 1962, in Knoxville Tennessee and was predeceased by his father, James Burris; grandmothers Lena Boyd and George Ann Collins and grandfathers, Freddie Boyd and Tommy Collins.
Eric was an Episcopalian and attended both St. James Episcopal Church at 413 Cumberland Ave.; and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 600 S Chestnut St, both in Knoxville, TN.
He will be remembered for his contagious smile and his love for people. He never met a stranger. He attended Knoxville Public Schools and graduated from Carter High School in 1980. During his senior year at Carter, he entered and won an Architectural Drafting Contest given by TVA, Knoxville, and was hired to work there.
He also worked for the Tennessee Department of Transportation and designed several bridges and overpasses on I-75 and I-40 He subsequently worked for power plants in Greenville, South Carolina and Baxley, Georgia. He moved back to Knoxville and was hired by Rust Engineering Company as a draftsman. He then applied for, trained, and was hired by the Knoxville Fire Department. His class was the first class in 25 years to have black firefighters. This job was his dream job as he’d always wanted to be a fireman. During this time he earned an Associate Degree in Construction Engineering at State Technical Institute Knoxville, Tennessee. He worked at Carwoks Detailing Shop for several years as a detailer.
Survived by devoted mother, Bettye Burris, loyal and devoted companion, Angela Thomas; children, Briana Shipe and Thamar Smith; grandchildren, Samariyah Smith, Naviyon Shipe, and Nakiia Hawkins; special cousin-brother, Gregory Blair; friend – brother Marcus Bly; nephew, Codee Bly; friend-sister, Tonya Bly; aunt, Willie Merl Everette, Miami, Florida; uncle, Paul Burris, Augusta, Georgia and many cousins and friends throughout the country.
Visitation, 5:30-6 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Jarnigan’s Chapel; prayer service, 6 p.m.
Formal funeral service and burial will be announced at a later date. Memorials in memory of Mr. Burris can be made to St. James Episcopal Church.
The family gives special thanks and appreciation to Park West and Ft. Sanders Hospitals and to Hospice Nurses for the excellent care he received.