In Memory of Shirley Burruss





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Shirley Burruss

Shirley Marie Burruss was born Shirley Marie Tardy on Dec 14, 1937, in Hurt County, VA to Elizabeth Tardy & Shade Payne. She was called home to the Lord on Dec 15, 2020 at 9:05am with her youngest daughter at her hospital bedside and her family on Zoom, at the age of 83. Shirley, who accepted Christ in her youth, was blessed and anointed by the Holy Spirit with gifts to both sing and play piano by ear, and grew up singing and playing at home and in church. In the 1960's she relocated to Atlantic City, NJ where she raised five of six wonderful children. Shirley was well known in the gospel community, and was referred to as Sis. Shirley Marie, the "Gospel Voice" of radio stations WMID & WUSS on Sunday mornings with the late Sis. Betsy Faison. She also founded her own singing group known as The Gospel Travelers. Sis. Shirley performed on TV as well as played for several youth groups from different churches in the area. In 1967 Shirley organized the Sunbeam youth choir for Mt. Zion Church and she was the pianist of the Rosebud Choir. She was frequently requested to be the mistress of ceremony when celebrity artists came to town, to name a few, the Williams Brothers, Shirley Caesar and she was the opening act (singer) for the Late Reverend James Cleveland. Sis. Shirley was a sought after Soloist. She was famous for singing and playing songs under the anointing and inspiration of the Holy Spirit that created an atmosphere for the presence of God. In the late 1970's, Shirley Marie joined Shiloh Temple Church, she also joined the mass choir and became one of the church musicians. The late Bishop Waiters frequently requested that she sing her song, One Day at a Time. Shirley was a former usher board president, she remained an usher, a choir member and directed the missionary choir. In 2009, Sis. Shirley Marie married the love of her life, Deacon Charles Henry Burrus Jr. Deacon Burruss gleefully took his wife all around the world visiting places she had always dreamed to go. She spent her golden years well loved and blessed with an incredible husband. They resided in Absecon, NJ where they provided care for her mother in their home until they were no longer able. She visited her mother almost every day, sometimes multiple times until the Covid shutdown and when restrictions were lifted, continued her visits until Oct 2020 when her mother passed at age 101. Sis. Shirley Marie Burruss is predeceased by her son Eric Williams, her brother the late Reverend James Drinks, her father Shade Payne, her loving step-father, Nelson Hubbard and her beloved mother Deaconess Elizabeth Hubbard. She leaves to cherish her memories: her wonderful husband, Deacon Charles Burrus Jr., of Absecon, NJ; two sisters, Evangelist Esther Graves of Pleasantville, NJ, Katherine Chavis, of Warrenton, VA; one sister-in-law, Evangelist Juanita Drinks of Egg Harbor City, NJ; five children, Gayle Brown of Absecon, NJ, Howard Williams Sr., (Linda) of Atlanta GA, Douglass Williams Sr., (Helen) of Orlando FL, Robin Hopkins (Lloyd) of Mays Landing, NJ, and Kris Williams (Shirley) of Orlando FL; one step-son, Charles Burruss III (Robbin) of Ashland, VA; twelve grandchildren, Tyrone Brown Jr., Melanie, Howard Jr., & Korrey Williams, Douglass Williams Jr., Dairius Shanks, Dorrien Hopkins, Jione', Janna, JaCinta, Jalah & Jennise Williams; twenty-one great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, two goddaughters and friends.