Sam Burris


Private burial in Nebraska and Virginia will take place at a later date for Sam Burris, 80, of Thailand, formerly of Winside. 

Sam died Saturday, May 11, 2024 in Thailand.

Memorials can be sent to Bill Burris at PO Box 38, Winside, NE, 68790.

Samuel Johnson Burris was born to Samuel Clifton and Elsa Emma (Dohren) Burris in Norfolk on Aug. 14, 1943. He lived his first 10 years at a farm northwest of Pilger by the Humbug Creek and attended District 25 in Stanton County. In 1953, he moved with his parents to a farm northwest of Winside and attended District 58 through the eighth grade. He then began attending Winside High School from which he graduated in 1961. In his teens, he played baseball, basketball, and football. Sam graduated from Norfolk Junior College in 1963 and then attended Wayne State College for one year. In 1964, Sam volunteered for service in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea as a chaplain’s assistant. He completed his active service in the army in 1966.

In 1966, Sam continued his education in Idaho, graduating from Boise State College in 1968 with a history major and an education degree. Over the next six years, he and his first wife taught in Vancouver, Washington, and Boise, Idaho. In 1974, he earned a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Northern Arizona University. In 1974, Sam joined the Peace Corps and served in Western Samoa until 1976. From 1976 to 2001, Sam lived in Hawaii where he taught in several universities and high schools. During this time, Sam also spent two years teaching in Singapore.

In 2001, Sam moved to Thailand where he remained until his death (with the exception of some brief stints in Hawaii). Sam authored family history books, magazine articles, and educational productions.

Survivors include his brother, Ron Burris, who resides in Alaska with his wife Dee; his brother, Bill Burris, who resides in Winside with his wife Patti; and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Sam was preceded in death by his mother, Elsa, in 1993; his father, Cliff in 1997, and one wife.