Ernie Lee Burress, 72 of Dutch Valley in Clinton, TN, succumbed to asbestosis COPD on December 28, 2019 surrounded by family, Rev Jake and seven other supportive friends at Tennova Turkey Creek Hospital.
An only child, he is preceded by parents, Helen (Dunkin) and Sam “Hall” Burress. Survivors are wife, Annie Golson-Burress; daughter, Jessica Burress (Edward Morris); brothers of the heart, Ben Morton, Ronnie Watson, Jim Hill, Kim Kasten and Larry Pounds.; along with a myriad of wonderful friends.
With organ donation being first choice and Knoxville’s Body Farm second but not feasible, a third choice for body donation emerged in Western North Carolina at a place Ernie loved. He will be teaching long after most people are gone, first as a body farm denizen then as a skeletal study.
He graduated from CSHS in 1965, was a graduate of UTK and an avid Volunteer-for-Life. A Navy Vietnam Veteran, he seldom mentioned his service. His bachelor degree was in anthropology and philosophy leading him to work as an archeologist on the Chota Native American burial site before TVA dammed the Little Tennessee River. He believed in higher education, reading, hiking, swimming, water skiing, travel and equal rights for all, bringing him to be a 35 year member of Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. Beginning work at ERCE, he worked at SAIC then LaBot Anderson and eventually starting his own company, Paladin, then E-CATS from which he retired.
A celebration of Life will be held on January 25, 2020 at 2 PM at Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. At his request and being an ardent Grateful Dead fan, please wear Tie-dye or UT orange or anything associated with the Grateful Dead. Flowers are permitted but donations are preferred to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 SE 1 st Street; Suite 800; Miami, FL 33131, or The Asbestosis COPD Research: American Lung Association, 55 West Wacker Dr., Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 or to the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church.
Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.