John Erik Burleson


January 8, 1971 ~ January 29, 2022 (age 51)

John Erik Burleson was born on January 8, 1971 to John Joel Burleson and Ruemma Frizzell Taylor in Stephenville, Texas.

Funeral services for Erik will be held at 1:00 PM Tuesday, February 1st at Cottonwood Baptist Church with Mike Fritscher officiating.  Burial will follow at Pecan Cemetery, near the Purvis Community in Erath County.  Visitation with the Burleson family will be Monday, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Stephenville Funeral Home.

Erik graduated from the Texas A&M fire academy in March of 1991 and promptly married Sylvia Parham Burleson on April 26, 1991 at the First Christian Church in Stephenville.

He left behind his children:

Emily Burleson Gray -Mandala and husband Anthony Gray-Mandala, their daughter (his cherished granddaughter) Addie Jean Gray-Mandala,  John Brayden Burleson and his fiancée Shannon Keller, and James Laramie Burleson and girlfriend Faith Thomas.

A Sister Michelle Taylor of Bluff Dale, Texas

Brothers Chris Taylor of Bluff Dale, Ryan Taylor of Marble Falls, and Ty Taylor of Bluff Dale

Parents John and Cerelle Burleson of Ft. Worth and Steve and Rue Taylor of Bluff Dale

Because of their expanding family through marriage, Erik liked to say that he and Sylvia had three boys and a girl (plus a granddaughter) and they were fixing to have two more girls.

If you knew Erik you know that he was a fighter. Erik worked as a fireman for 28 years in Brownwood, North Richland Hills and Stephenville. As a first responder he fought fires and fought to save people’s lives on a daily basis. He was an experienced and trusted manager for several EMS services and for the last 10 years he served as the Air Evac Lifeteam Program Director of the Eastland AEL 115 Base.

Besides devoting the majority of his adult life to being a first responder, he was a strong Bible believing Christian. Over his adult life he served the church as a men’s pastor, led Wild at Heart Groups and A local Chapter of Legacy Outfitters, a men’s Ministry out of Waco, Texas. Erik was a devoted warrior, constantly fighting for men’s hearts in the church.

He fought for his family. As an involved father he loved the years he was able to coach his boys in baseball, teach his boys a strong work ethic, and always treasured the time spent with them in the outdoors fishing, hunting and camping with them.  He also enjoyed teaching them to build homes as he was also a building contractor having built many homes in the area. His final masterpiece his own home. 

He enjoyed fishing and canoeing with Emily as well as watching her dance and helping at her dance studio. He also enjoyed every moment with her daughter Addie

Up to the very end, while he fought for his life, he fought for his marriage.  Every nurse that took care of him in every hospital knew Erik and Sylvia’s story and how God was able to restore and redeem anything. Erik and Sylvia’s mission was to heal broken or hurting marriages. Over the last six years Erik and Sylvia have been instrumental in building and leading a strong marriage ministry at Cottonwood Church. They planned huge dinners and events, created a muti generational community and made counseling a priority.  Since 2019 they were involved in Affair Recovery, a crisis counseling and mentoring ministry involving 60+ people a week along with numerous one on one sessions with couples in the area. Erik and Sylvia had a vision to see bad marriages made good, good marriages made great and great marriages as mentoring couples.

Erik will be missed greatly but the impact he has made on those who have been blessed enough to know him is an eternal one.

The Family thanks you for your outpouring of love and support. The family asks also that in lieu of flowers you might consider contributing to Erik’s boy’s college and flight school funds.  They will also be creating a scholarship for Fire Academy and paramedic school at a later date.  Any contribution is greatly appreciated.  Contributions can be made immediately through Cottonwood Church, 273, County Road 527, Dublin, TX 76446 or soon at First Financial Bank in Stephenville.

Service Information

Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. on Monday, January 31, at the Stephenville Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, in the Cottonwood Baptist Church, located at 273 County Rd 527 in Dublin. Burial will follow in the Pecan Cemetery, located on FM 219 south of Dublin.

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