Whata guy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Ricky Burrus Speech

Today I was given the opportunity to speak, from my heart, about my father.  The goal of the discussion was how my personal life tied in directly to my company's mission.  I spoke about my father because of his 28 year battle with chronic disease of the heart.  I was so nervous to give this talk because it was going to be in front of my entire company that is made up of the best and brightest talent in the medical field, engineers, doctors, nurses, top executives and everyone else that I am lucky enough to work along side.  I wanted so badly to express my father's turbulent road filled with heart attacks, cardiac arrests, hospital visits, ERs, congestive heart failure, medicine, medical costs and all the sadness and heartache that goes into this many years of not feeling well.  I also hoped to capture my father's incredible strength, fight and capacity for climbing the mountains and over coming all the health problems that he suffered.  I had every intension of explaining that my father was a good patient from the standpoint of the medical field.  He was compliant when it came to his medicine, resting and going to the doctors appointments. 
My father got dealt a really shitty deck of cards when it came to his heart.  It seems to me that he silently struggled when it came to how he felt on a daily basis and how he was doing emotionally.  He did not complain.  He never focused on the negative.  He always rose above and ensured that he was not feeling sorry for himself.  He was so incredibly amazing and he is a role model for everyone, especially for those dealt with shitty hands. 
Most people would never have been able to physically or emotionally go through what my dad did over the years with his heart, his health and his lifestyle.  He was considered disabled in his 40s.  The prime of his life, he was completely knocked down.  And he was again knocked down in his 50s and again in his 60s.  But he kept fighting to survive.
So I desperately wanted to tell this story of my father today so everyone who did not meet him would know that he has indeed made me understand the importance of health care and the need to improve upon patient safety, medical technology and efficiency in hospitals while lowering the cost of health care. 
I am afraid to admit that although my intentions were good, I broke down within two minutes of getting up in front of the room and could barely get through my talk.  I showed a picture of my father and me on the day of my wedding and it took me back to how special that day was for everyone.  I miss my father so very much and although I may not have made it through my planned out speech today, I am pretty sure I let the world know just how much my dad meant to me.

Miss you daddy!

Friday, June 28, 2013


I can't help but think that a little over 3 months ago I was hanging out with my dad at the beach.  My husband and I, along with Amber's family went with mom and dad on an evening picnic to the beach.  That was something we had never done before.  It doesn't make sense that we had not done that trip in the past considering it was only 10 minutes from their house.  It seems to me, we all should have done that before then. 
My dad sat in his chair, roasting marshmallows with Amber and her kids, wearing one of his many jackets (he had a jacket obsession:).  I remember that dad was a little quite on this trip, I just chalked it up to him being tired or not feeling particularly well.  I began thinking though that maybe his quietness stemmed more from the fact that he knew he was going to have this procedure done the following week and perhaps he was quite because he was very nervous.  I think my dad was scared.
As I think back on the last few times I spent with my dad I feel very sad because I didn't realize they would be the last of their sort.  I didn't realize that the beach trip that evening would be the last dinner I ate with my dad or the last time I could sit around and joke with him.  I really miss my dad right now and I wish I spent more time with him roasting marshmallows on the beach.  Love you dad!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Missing my daddy today, every day.

I, like many of you, drift in and out of daydreaming throughout each day.  While I drift in and out, I think of my dad.  I still have such an incredible pull to want to pick up the phone and call him while I am eating lunch at my desk.  Or, I would wait till around 2:00 pm, right around the time I knew he would be getting ready for his daily siesta, and I would call him just to wake him up.  Yes, I am devious like that.  I would say "Oh, sorry dad, did I wake you up".  He would laugh and tell me, "yes, like usual".  I also used to call him every day on my commute home.  My commute is very lonely without my dad.

I just thought I would check in with anyone who might still check this blog.  This picture was taken one year ago at my babies one year old birthday party.

We miss you Grandpa big Dick!

Monday, May 6, 2013

My dad, the dancing fool

We have so many memories of my father dancing at different weddings.  He really liked to boogie and took his dancing very seriously.  He did the splits on more than two occasions, causing the world to stop for everyone who witnessed the stealthy move.  My dad really knew how to cut a rug, I will give him that!

Monday, April 22, 2013


I am not sure if anyone would be checking this blog post my dad's funeral but I wanted to express my most heart felt gratitude to all those who participated in my father's services.  From the Patriot Guard to all the other riders who were there to pay tribute to a Vet as well as just a wonderful man, I thank you.  You all made the day as my father would have coined it "really bitchen".

I look back on April 11, 2013 with more pride than I could ever imagine.  Seeing all of those men and women standing at attention, holding the American flage, while my father's family walked through those doors to say their last goodbyes, just brings tears to my eyes.  To see riders drive next to the car holding my father's casket and salute, fills my heart so much emotion.  To witness the lines of bikes on the road to secure safe route to my father's final resting place has burned an eternal image into my memory that will never fade.  My father would have been bursting with pride, I know that.

My family will never forget everyone who came out to remember my father, to talk about my father and to celebrate his beautiful life.  The Burrus family thanks you. 

My father's friend Vivian White recently sent the below two pictures of my dad during Spring Break in 1963.  I had never seen these pictures in my life.  I am so happy to have them now.  Look at little Ricky Burrus. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


Good afternoon,

Please note that I made a mistake on the time of the Rosary and Memorial.  It will take place at 10:00 AM Pacific on Thursday, April 11, 2013. 

Griffin Family Funeral Chapel
101 E. Wilbur Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
(805) 230-2800
Following the memorial, we will travel to the Conejo Mountain Cemetery.
2052 Howard Road
Camarillo, CA 93012

The Patriot Guard will take lead on the drive from the Chapel to the Cemetery.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at my email address or phone:

With love,
Katie Burrus, daughter of the coolest guy ever!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ricky Burrus

Dearest friends and family of Rick Burrus,

It is with all the sadness in my soul to write that my father passed away this morning at 11:20 am.  He was surrounded by his family.  We all held his hands while he made a gentle transition from this world into the next.  Though everyone who knows my father already realizes we had an angel on this Earth, we now know for sure there is an amazingly tough, good looking, very funny, incredibly witty, albeit "short" angel now in heaven.  Little Ricky Burrus was and is truly loved by all who were blessed to know him.  It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye, so we did not, we just said "until then....".  We let Dad know that everyone loved him and supported him and appreciated the incredible fight he gave.

Before he was sedated, we played Dad the ASU fight song and we said out loud... A S U!
We have just arrived home from the hospital and we have hung his ASU flag outside his home and we are wheeling out his motorcycle as a tribute.  As you know he loved both passionately.

To all his dear friends and family who faithfully prayed and who have sent us your love and support, we all thank you in the Burrus household.  Please know that you all held so much joy in my father's heart.

We will all come together to celebrate my father, your friend, very soon.  Please keep checking this blog as I will keep you updated on upcoming arrangements.

With love and condolences for your loss,