Zacariah “Jack” Burris
Jack was born October 12, 1926 in Keota, Oklahoma, to Frank and Melvina Burris. The family lived in Oklahoma until Frank died. Then Melvina in a covered wagon took the family to Arkansas. Along the way, the family sometimes only had parched corn to eat. The family lived in Arkansas working for Joseph Brooks until they saved enough money to buy a car to come to California as they heard there was a lot of work there.
Therefore, Melvina and her brother Henry and his family all piled into the little car and headed for California. They often stopped along the way and worked for money for gas and food. They went to Chowchilla where their older sister had settled.
They lived in Chowchilla, worked, and then moved on to work on the Lincoln Ranch. Jack went to the Cotton Blossom School and then to the old Howard School. Jack dropped out of school after the fifth grade to go to work full time because his older brother was drafted into the army and his mother needed him to drive her around and work.
Jack married at a young age of 17 to Barbara Fern Duncan. He and Barbara had four children: Barbara Louise Armstrong, Wanda Lou Robbins, Michael Gene Burris, and Nickey Jay Burris. The marriage ended in divorce and Jack then married Mary Anita Brooks, granddaughter of their former employer.
Jack was known for his hard work, his honesty and his ability to repair any of the equipment he operated. He was employed at Sagouspé Brothers, Will Gill and Sons and Norman Haire Small Engine Repair Shop. At the age of sixty, he started his own business. He and Mary purchased property in the Bonita area. On the property was an old café building, which Jack converted into Bonita Auto Parts and then the business grew and became Bonita Mini Mart. He and Mary and the kids and granddaughters Lisa and April operated the store. The business was known for its friendly atmosphere and food and that Jack could fix their cars. Jack went to West Hills College and received his certification on New Holland Hay Baler Repair and Automobile Air Conditioning Repair.
Visitation will be on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Jay Chapel.
A funeral service will be on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM at Jay Chapel.
Interment will follow at Arbor Vitae Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Agnes Hospice, 6729 N. Willow Avenue suite 103, Fresno, CA 93710, The First Assembly of God Church, 22444 Ave 18 1/2, Madera, CA 93637 or The Madera Rescue Mission, 332 Elm St, Madera, CA 93638
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