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John E. Burrell

December 18, 1930 ~ February 8, 2019 (age 88)

John Earl Burrell, 88, of Lafayette, Indiana, fortified with the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, passed into Eternity on the morning of Friday, February 8th, 2019 at St. Anthony Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. John was born on December 18th, 1930 in Lawrenceville, Illinois, to the late John and Wastella Burrell of Sumner, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his Sister, Norma Jean, and his Brother, Harry, as well as his beloved wife, Marilyn “Jane” Burrell. He graduated from Lawrenceville Township High School in Lawrenceville, Illinois, where he met his future wife and light of his life, Marilyn “Jane” Peerman. John was an accomplished football player during his high school years. Due to his success on and off the field, he was offered a scholarship to play football at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Since family was the most important thing to him, he instead turned down the scholarship in order to to help his mother by working construction as a pipe insulator and laborer in the Gary Steel Mills. After some time in the steel mills, John was drafted into the United States Army and served during the Korean War. He served, honorably, as a member of the Military Police Corps in the European Theatre, where he was stationed in Berlin. His proficiency with electronics merited him an opportunity to attend MOS training for the United States Army Signal Corps. During his time in the Army, John continued to stay in contact with his “Janie.” After his tenure in the Army, John returned to Lawrenceville, where he married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn “Jane” Peerman, on January 2nd, 1954. After marriage, John graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Vincennes University. Shortly after, in 1955, John and Jane moved to Lafayette, Indiana, where he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. After receiving significant help from his biggest supporter and confidante, Jane, he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1958 – the first of a family legacy of Boilermakers. In 1959, their only child, Mary Michelle “Shelley” Strong was born. Both John and Jane considered this their best and finest accomplishment as a married couple. As they would say, “What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality.” To support his family, John worked at Fairfield Manufacturing Company in Sales. As his professional responsibilities continued to grow, he, eventually, became the General Manager of the Sales and Marketing Department. His dedication to Fairfield paid off, as he retired at the age of 55. John and Jane lived the rest of their lives in Lafayette – a community that provided both of them with so many great opportunities and memories. John was an avid golfer, gardener, woodworker, hard-worker, and a loyal friend. After spending 35 years at Fairfield, he was fortunate to spend the remaining 33 years of his life in retirement with his family and playing golf with his weekly golfing buddies. While John and Jane liked to travel, they enjoyed time spent with family and friends even more. John’s faith was very important to him, as well. He was a member of St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish, the Knights of Columbus, and an organizer and volunteer for the Cathedral Parish money counters. He was, also, a member of the American Legion. Surviving are: Daughter, Mary Michelle “Shelley” Burrell/Strong, Son-in-Law, John Strong, as well as four grandchildren: Michelle Koontz, and partner, Johnny Grigonis; Sarah Van Kirk and Husband, John Van Kirk; John B. Strong and Wife, Katheryne Strong; and Mark Strong and Wife, Brittany Strong. John, also, leaves behind his Sister-in-Law, Carole Peerman, and his niece, Pam Hagar. Additionally, John leaves behind six great-grandchildren: Joshua and Anna-Jane Grigonis; Aiden Koontz; Layla, Brennan and Lillian Van Kirk. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at St Mary’s Cathedral, in Lafayette, Indiana on Friday, February 15th, 2019. The visitation will occur from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. with the Mass of Christian Burial scheduled directly following the visitation. Graveside services and interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery will directly follow the Mass. The family asks that any acts of generosity - particularly masses said in remembrance of John - be sent to Saint Mary Cathedral Parish in Lafayette, Indiana. May his soul rest in peace with Jesus and his “Janie.” Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home, Lafayette, is honored to serve the Burrell family. Memories and condolences may be left at

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