Eric Anthony Burris

04/23/1962 – 3/24/2021

Obituary for Eric Anthony Burris

Eric Anthony Burris was the son of the late James Burris and Bettye Burris. He was born April 23, 1962 in Knoxville Tennessee.

Preceded in death by his father James Burris; grandmothers, Lena Boyd and George Ann Collins; grandfathers, Freddie Boyd and Tommy Collin; granddaughter, Lena Smith.

Eric was an Epicopalian and attended both St. James and St. Luke’s Episcopal Churches. 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 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 had 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 Carworks Detailing Shop for several years as a detailer.


Eric is survived by his devoted mother Bettye Burris; loyal and devoted companion, Angela Thomas; children, Briana Shipe and Thamar Smith; grandchildren, Samariyah Smith, Xa’Bella Smith, Naviyon Shipe and Nakiia Hawkins; special cousin-brother, Gegory 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.


The family gives special thanks and appreciations to Park West and Ft. Sanders Hospitals and to his Hospice Nurses for the excellent care he received by them. 


Family will receive friends, 5:30 p.m.-600 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Jarnigan & Son Chapel, 2823 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Knoxville, TN 37914, prayer service 6:00 p.m


Memorials may be made to St. James Episcopal Church in memory of Mr. Burris. 


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Recieving of Friends

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
5:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m
Jarnigan & Son Mortuary
2823 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Knoxville, TN 37914

Prayer Service

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
6:00 p.m
Jarnigan & Son Mortuary
2823 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Knoxville, TN 37914



Memorial Video

Funeral Service Video