Cover photo for Merline Drum Burris's Obituary
Merline Drum Burris Profile Photo

Merline Drum Burris

June 24, 1942 — September 7, 2023


Merline Drum Burris


Merline Drum Burris, 81, of Gastonia, passed away peacefully on September 7, 2023 with her loving family by her side.


She was born in Gaston County on June 24, 1942 to the late Annie Watson. In addition to her mother, she is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 42 years, James Burris, Jr.; daughters, Lisa Renee Spencer and Angie Skipper Lee; son, James Burris, III; sisters, Era Belle Rose and Molly Skipper; and her grandson, Garren Spencer.


Merline was known as a feisty and energetic woman, a real renaissance woman as her family describes her. She enjoyed watching Asian drama series, scratch-off lottery tickets, and going to Cherokee Casino to try her luck there. Most of all she loved her family and grandkids. She leaves many happy memories to be cherished by all who knew and loved her.


She is survived by her son, Terry Spencer (Tabitha); daughter, Cindy Spivey (Wally); sister, Jerline Decker; son, Shane Burris (Lisa); grandchildren, Nick and Noah Spencer, Jimmy Keith Thrett, Russell Bryan, Wendy Burris, Andy Paige, Stephanie Burris, Clint Burris, Jonathan Burris, Darrell Burris, Ashley Willis, and many great-grandchildren; and her two honorary daughters, Pam Braswell (Vernon) and Terry McLean.


The Family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Friday September 15, 2023 at Withers & Whisenant Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel with Pastor Jeff Hicks officiating. Burial will follow at Gaston Memorial Park.


In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to the  Alzheimer’s Association and National Kidney Foundation.


Withers and Whisenant Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 2916 Union Road, Gastonia, NC (704) 864-5144 is serving the family.


Online condolences may be made at:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merline Drum Burris, please visit our flower store.
In memory of Merline Drum Burris, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:


Visits: 217

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree