Jess Lurnis Burwell, 85, of Paxton, formerly of Urbana, passed away at 9:20 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2019, at Accolade Healthcare of Paxton Senior Living.

A memorial visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, at Renner-Wikoff Chapel & Crematory, Urbana.

Jess was born in Champaign on Oct. 23, 1933, to parents Lurnis and Rosetta (Stonebreaker) Burwell; they preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death was his sister, Wanda.

On June 19, 1954, Jess married Donna Jean Shepherd in a rose garden at her parents’ home in Urbana. They were just four days shy of their 65th wedding anniversary when Jess passed away.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, and their children, Steven Burwell (Carol) of Urbana, Julie Stout of Champaign and Tom Burwell (Kelly) of Urbana. Six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild also survive him.

Jess attended Urbana High School. He was employed by the University of Illinois as a construction worker for 30 years before retiring. He liked fishing, hunting and country living.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jess’ honor to the American Heart Association. Condolences may be offered at