John W. Burr, age 78, of Robinson, IL, gained his wings on Sunday, February 18, 2018, due to a brief battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully with his sister and a niece holding his hands, at Heritage Health in Robinson.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to his three-year-old great-great-niece Chrissiana Wall for the start of a college fund and can be made in the care of her grandmother Thelma Wall. Online condolences can be shared at www.johnsonandsonsfh.com.
John, one of eight children to James Sr. and Alice (Shope Surrels) Burr, was born on December 16, 1939, in Effingham County, IL. John married Lena M. in 1970 and she preceded him in death. John married his second wife Laynette Elder in 1993.
John worked in construction, masonry work, tree trimming, oil fields, and as farm help. As a teenager, he helped his father drill water wells. John’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family and friends. John could clean fish and skin a deer faster than anyone who knew him, and he was always willing to help others.
John is survived by his sister, Marjorie (Luther) Henon of West York; brother, William “Bill” (Shirley) Burr of Iuka; nieces and nephews, Thelma (Monty) Wall of Oblong, June (Jeff) Caranhan of West York, Lois (David York) Henon of Robinson, Louise (Jeff McElroy) Shields of Robinson, Tina (Kevin Decker) Hayes of Robinson, Martha (Robert) Smith of Oblong, Freddie (Tab) Smith of Robinson, Eddie Smith of Nebraska, Sindy (Jamie) Mayhew of Robinson, Steve Smith of Oblong, Billy Burr, Bobby Burr, Mary Jo Jenkins, Sammy Gressel, Clifford Scott, and Daisy Gressel; and step-daughter, Heather Elder.
John is also survived by 31 great nieces and nephews and 20 great-great nieces and nephews plus one great-great-niece who he cared for dearly, Chrissiana Wall, aka, “Uncle John’s Little Girlfriend” which he always called her.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lena M.; brothers, Jerry Burr, Jim Burr, Donnie Burr; sisters, Jenny Smith and Joyce Pennington; nephew, Carl Smith; great-great-nephew, LCLP James Baud; and step-daughter, Melissa Elder.
Three words to sum up John’s life are: “Fulfilled His Mission.”