Bruce Edward Burris

Bruce Edward Burris

September 21, 1952 - April 28, 2018
Laguna Niguel CA

Bruce Edward Burris

September 21, 1952 - April 28, 2018
Laguna Niguel CA


Bruce Edward Burris, 65, died on April 28, 2018, surrounded by family, after a challenging illness. He will be remembered as a fun-loving, intelligent thinker with a gentle spirit.

Bruce was born to N. Jack and Alwilna (“Willie”) Burris in Lawrence, KS on September 21, 1952 where he was raised in the city of Lawrence with his elder sister, Shirley Burris Henson. He grew up an avid sports fan, reading Sports Illustrated magazine cover-to-cover since its first issue when he was 12 years old. He was particularly fond of the most popular basketball team in town” the Jayhawks of the University of Kansas.

He attended the University of Kansas and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1974. While in school, he met and married his wife, Debra (“Debbie”) Lee (Duling) Burris in 1973. Both civil engineers, they worked in Kansas City for a brief time before moving to California for graduate school. Bruce and Debbie graduated from Stanford University with Master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering in 1977. They moved to Orange County, California where Bruce lived for the next 41 years, working as a consulting engineer on a wide variety of projects to manage wastewater and create clean drinking water. Bruce and Debbie had two children, David John and Erin Michelle Burris.

Although a Jayhawk at heart, Bruce followed the Stanford Cardinal and immediately took to the local Southern California sports teams, warm weather, beaches, and active outdoor lifestyle. Bruce loved classic rock music, animals, hiking, camping, golfing, and fishing. He enjoyed hiking Saddleback Mountain and Mount Whitney. He fished anywhere he could” in streams and lakes, beach shores and the deep sea. A late bloomer in the kitchen, Bruce learned to cook making a wide variety of fish recipes from his latest catch. He spent his free time refereeing youth soccer games, attending Anaheim Ducks hockey and Anaheim Angels baseball games, and following his Jayhawks through March Madness.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie, and his two children, David and Erin. He is also survived by his sister, Shirley, her husband, Doug Henson, and their children, Sarah and Alex Henson, and their families. He will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Bruce be sent to:
ALS Association –
The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration –


Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: June 24, 2018 (1:30 PM)
  • Venue: Dana Point Yacht Club
  • Location: 24399 Dana Drive Dana Point, CA 92629 - (Get Directions)

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11 responses to Bruce Edward Burris

  1. Bruce was a great friend going clear back to high school. Bruce and Debbi were a great couple. I will miss him.

  2. Bruce, you left us too early, before we all got grey and told stories over and over. We saw our first starwars movie with you, went to our first rock concert (Tom Petty) with you. Loved your fish stories even had some of the catch. Kids grew up being with you, Debbie, David and Erin almost every Thanksgiving. We had a lot more to share but life took a turn. We will miss you. Rest in peace dear friend.

  3. Bruce was a kind and generous person. I enjoyed working with him, our times playing golf, and going to lunch with him and our lunch group every Friday while at Tetra Tech. Bruce will be sincerely missed.

  4. I have Wonderful memories of Bruce while working together at HDR. We shared conversations about music, kids, played tricks on each other and we all threw the dreaded sail cat off the roof of the Citicorp Bldg. in Irvine (personal joke). I am so sorry that he’s gone now but the good memories will live on. Be comforted that he is now at peace. Condolences to the entire Family. Sincerely, Doreen Olivas Scherff

  5. Sorry for your loss..

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