Cover photo for Jo Ann Turner Burris's Obituary
Jo Ann Turner Burris Profile Photo
1943 Jo 2020

Jo Ann Turner Burris

May 29, 1943 — April 8, 2020

South Austin Location

Jo Ann Canady Turner Burris earned her wings April 8, 2020 following a lengthy illness. An Austin native, she was born May 29, 1943, the first of five children born to Sidney and Maggie Canady, at Brackenridge Hospital.

She attended Metz Elementary School up until the sixth grade when she enrolled in Florence Ralston Brooke Elementary. In the seventh grade she attended John T. Allan Junior High, won a citywide spelling bee and received a certificate signed by the mayor. When Allan Junior High burned down shortly after the academic year began in 1956 Jo Ann attended University Junior High.

At just 13 years old, Jo Ann began working two jobs waitressing for tips weekdays after school at the East Seventh Street Bakery and weekend nights at the Tip-In restaurant once located on Webberville Road.

She graduated from McCallum High and served as a majorette with the Knights’ band. During her junior year, she began attending classes in the mornings and working afternoons in the cosmetics department at Woolworth’s department store.

Immediately upon graduating McCallum, Jo Ann attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. After freshman year, she returned to Austin and enrolled in Durham’s Business College. She married Austin jazz band leader and bass player Bill Turner in November of 1963 and the following year the couple moved to McAllen where their son, Jeff was born.

Jo Ann commuted from McAllen to translate documents from English into Spanish within the city offices of Edinburg for Al Ramirez, the town’s first Hispanic mayor. In 1965 she took another job translating the daily news for broadcast Channel 5, in Rio Grande Valley, TX. Later she also worked jobs as a secretary in Houston for a private law firm, for an architectural firm, and for Gulf Oil Company.

In 1971 the Turners returned to Austin and their daughter Kelly was born. Afterwards Jo Ann went to work for Smith & Jones Real Estate Company, took her broker’s test and opened a real estate business in Wind River Office Park.

Always an expert communicator, Jo Ann often noticed a person’s handshake, eye contact, body posture, and how he or she spoke. She became a successful leader in the world of network marketing to represent NSA Water Filters, HerbaLife, Vox and Jeunesse Global, holding sales events in Austin, Dallas and Houston.

In December of 1979 Jo Ann became an administrative assistant at Shoal Creek Hospital, a job she held for the next 13 years until she suffered a debilitating back injury as a result of a car accident. Following her physical rehabilitation in 1984 she worked as a secretary for the University of Texas and at Dell’s Children’s Hospital. She also staged homes professionally in Westlake for 15 years and retired in 2014 after working as a cashier for HEB in Oak Hill. Jo Ann also proudly served as a charter member of the Austin chapter of the Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America. She married the love of her life, Lonnie Burris, Oct. 18, 2019 in Canyon Lake, TX.

Jo Ann was preceded in death by her parents Sidney and Maggie Canady, her first husband Bill Turner, daughter Kelly Turner, brothers Jimmie and Sidney Canady, and sister Lillian Mae Lehman. Surviving Jo Ann is her husband Lonnie Burris, her son Jeff Turner, grandson Chance Turner, her sister Becky Canady, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Austin All Faiths Funeral & Cremation Services will provide an online-only memorial. The family requests privacy.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jo Ann Turner Burris, please visit our flower store.


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