Don Burris

I was born in Nelsonville, Ohio and grew up until the age of twelve in Zanesville, Ohio. My parents and my 4 siblings moved to Bluffton in 1970 when my father was transferred with his work. In 1978 my father was transferred again, and my family moved to Columbia City, Indiana but I chose to remain in Bluffton. I graduated from Bluffton High School and proceeded to take courses at The School of Modern Photography.
In 1999 I became a single parent and began the journey of raising two daughters on my own, At the same time I was President and partner in a design/build construction company. I have served as the past President of Bluffton Village Council, President of Bluffton Music Boosters, and past Treasurer of Bluffton Jaycees. While serving Village Council, I also served on Allen County Regional Planning Authority. In 1976 I became the youngest Deacon ordained in the United Church of Christ in the United States. I went on to serve on the Board of the UCC here in Bluffton. Not many know that I am ordained and licensed to perform weddings in Ohio.
I retired in 2020 after eighteen years with Buehrer Group Architects and Engineering, serving as their Construction Administrator. At the time of my retirement, I had overseen the construction of one million square feet of new schools, the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert, the Fulton County Museum in Wauseon, and two Ohio Department of Transportation Centers in Wauseon and Fremont. I logged well over 550,00 miles during those eighteen years.
After retirement, while minding my own business and playing in the sawdust in my woodshop, the opportunity to take on the task of Caretaker for First Mennonite Church arose, and that brings us to where I am today. It has been rewarding to work with your congregation, especially assisting with the new Directory by photographing several members who could not be here on picture day, as well as setting up a studio at Maple Crest to photograph the FMC members who reside there and the other Mennonite Home facilities. FMC is so fortunate to not only be creating this historical directory, but I am honored to be here for the welcoming of your new Pastor, Phil Yoder and his beautiful wife Chaska.
May the peace of God be with you now, and always.