(513) 231-2000 Cincinnati, OH
(859) 261-8560 Newport, KY

John W. Burroughs III January 1, 1951 - May 22, 2023

John W. Burroughs III came into this world on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1951, to John “W” and Genevieve Trappe Burroughs. Raised in Miamisburg, Ohio, by “Jack” and “Jenny” with his beloved younger siblings Ruth and Carl, John was a proud Miamisburger his whole life—and although life took him many other places, his hometown and the family and friends there were always “home” to him.

John graduated from Miamisburg High School in 1969, afterwards attending The Ohio State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. While his initial interests had been science—from high school he’d been a top student, even traveling to Chicago for a science trip—and he’d wanted to become a veterinarian—having worked throughout high school at Doc Brandon’s vet practice in Miamisburg—he felt a calling to ministry.

Along the way, he met and married Barbara Harper in 1974. After living in Columbus, where they’d both attended college, they moved to Dayton, Ohio, where John began a yearslong career with the Salvation Army, running a community center for underprivileged kids in the community, starting a Special Adults program for disabled members of the community, and helping run the ministry there in Townview.

In 1977, John and Barbara welcomed Caleb, with Luke following in 1979. In 1980, they moved to Cincinnati, where John managed Booth Residence from its opening until 1988—befriending and helping and loving the elderly and disabled residents there. And in 1986, he also finished his Master’s degree in gerontology from Miami University in Oxford, further learning how to help those who needed his help.

That same year, 1986, along came his third son, Benjamin, who was always his caboose and his buddy. By 1988, John felt called to minister as a pastor, and the family moved to northern Minnesota, where he pastored the Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church on the White Earth Indian Reservation. While there, he also worked as a hospice chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Park Rapids, MN, where he touched even more lives.

Moving back to Ohio in the late 90s, John continued his life of helping others, first working with those dealing with addiction in the Tri-state area, and then in counseling with Mercy Professional Services. In 1999 he married Chris Stafford, and the two enjoyed many years of retirement and grandchildren, also playing an important role in the community at Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church.

On May 22, 2023, John passed away peacefully at home with his wife and three sons at his side, with Hospice of Cincinnati providing wonderful support as he completed his life’s journey.

John loved so many aspects of life, but especially music (Roy Orbison and John Denver at the top of his lifelong playlist), reading, and horror movies (vampire movies were his favorite). And even more, he loved his family, who survive him:

His wife, Chris Stafford Burroughs. His sons, Caleb (Elie), Luke (Kathy), and Ben (Amber). His eight grandchildren: Madeline, Naomi, Amelia, Joseph, Theodore, Fiona, Arlo, and Paige. His siblings, Ruth (Wayne) and Carl (Candace). His stepsons, Craig, Toby, and Jordy. And his lifelong best friends, Doug Cluxton and Mike Braunlin.

Leave a Condolence