Obituary photo of Leon Burris+III, Casper-WY
In Loving Memory of

Leon Pennington "Penn" Burris III

1934 - 2022
Obituary photo of Leon Burris+III, Casper-WY
In Loving Memory of

Leon Pennington "Penn" Burris III

1934 - 2022
Leon Pennington (Penn) Burris, III of Casper passed away Monday April 25th, 2022, after a long battle with
Alzheimer’s Disease. He was a warm, gentle man with a big heart.

Born October 14, 1934 in Falls City, NE to Jean Lord and Leon P. Burris, Jr. Soon afterwards, the family moved to Grand Junction, CO where he spent his childhood and developed a love for the area and the outdoors, skiing in particular. After high school Penn moved to the Colorado front range, attending the University of Colorado- Boulder and then the University of Denver where he graduated with a B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

Penn was a loving and doating husband to Donna June Bailey, also from Grand Junction, CO. Though both having been raised in Grand Junction, CO they did not date in those early days…April 21, 1957, Penn read an article in the local Denver newspaper about a Frontier Airline DC3 airplane that struck the side of a mountain and lost 12 feet of the wing - the pilots had managed to hobble the mangled aircraft to the airport and a safe landing, saving all aboard. Donna was a flight attendant on that flight and her image was prominently displayed in the newspaper’s cover. Penn knew immediately she was the one for him. He tracked her down and they began dating, two years later on May 23, 1959 they were married.

Drafted into the U.S. Army, Penn and Donna moved around quite a bit until eventually landing in Cheyenne, WY only for Penn to be recalled to the Army a second time as the Berlin Wall crisis began. After his second release from military duty the family, now including a daughter, set roots in Casper, WY where the family grew over the years with two more children, another daughter and a son.

Penn worked for a number of oil field companies during his years in Casper, starting Burris Oil in the late
1960’s as a distributor for Texaco Oil, later becoming the President of the National Oil Jobbers Association, and eventually selling his oil company in the early 1980’s to focus on commercial real estate development.

Civic service was a very important to Penn and he was very active in Kiwanis International, the Special Olympics and the Wyoming Reads program - helping expand kids to books and regularly reading to children.

The passion for skiing never waned and he passed that joy of adventure down to his children - the family was a regular fixture at Hogadon Ski Area. Penn and Donna enjoyed travel a great deal, visiting far flung destination in Africa, Europe, South America but his favorite was always Scotland.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Burris of Casper and three children: Whitney Burris of Denver, CO, Courtney (Burris) and John Suranyi of Highlands Ranch, CO and L. Penn Burris, IV and Jennifer Malone of Golden, CO. He is also survived by five grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents Jean Lord Burris and Leon P. Burris, Jr. - Casper, WY.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be mailed to Wyoming Reads, 1560 S. Walnut Street, Casper, Wyoming, 82601. This was one of Penn’s true joys.

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