Longtime Beaumont businessman, Felix Burrus, has died.
Mr. Burrus, father of Cynthia Calvert Shiflet who owns the Tribune Newspapers, died on Sept. 10 at his home in Kingwood. He was 94.
Felix Lewis Burrus was born in the small, East Texas sawmill town of Hartburg on Aug. 19, 1926, to Eugene A. and Vivia (Dever) Burrus. His father was in the lumber business. The family moved to Beaumont when he was a child.
After graduating from Beaumont High School at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps as a cadet. He received basic training at Keesler Field, Miss., with additional training at Hill and Sheppard Air Force bases. He served as an instrument and maintenance specialist of B-29 bombers in the 8th Air Force Division in Luzon, The Philippines.
After two years, he returned to Texas and joined his father and brother in the lumber business, attending the University of Texas at Austin and Lamar University during that time.
He later sold his interest in Burrus Lumber to his brother and formed several home development companies, building hundreds of homes in Beaumont and the surrounding area.
An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed golf, deer hunting and won several international shooting competitions. He was also adventurous during his life; he rode motorcycles, ATVs, went deep sea fishing and flew airplanes.
Mr. Burrus was active in many civic and social organizations including the Beaumont Country Club, the Beaumont Gun Club, the YMBL and the Young Presidents Organization. He was a member of Trinity Methodist Church.
Mr. Burrus was a seventh- generation Texan, a direct descendant of the notable Dever pioneer family who was part of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred.” His ancestors settled on 4,500 acres in what is now Brenham and were also significant in the impact of Methodism in Texas.
Mr. Burrus was a widower; his wife, Lillian Ryen Burrus, died in 1991. In later years, he lived in Austin and then moved to Kingwood in 2019.
Mr. Burrus is survived by three children and their spouses: Cynthia and Larry Shiflet of Kingwood, Jessica and John Bowlin of Pacific Palisades, CA., and Ryen and Brianna Burrus of New Zealand; and by grandchildren Wilson Calvert, Olivia Faulkner, Hannah Bowlin, Will Bowlin, Parker Bowlin, Lillian Burrus, and by several nieces and nephews. His son, Felix L. Burrus, II, died in 1963.
A family memorial will be held at a later date.
When asked the secret to his long life, Mr. Burrus quoted his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra: “I did it my way!”