Wrisley Funeral Home
90 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA 01373
Office: 413-665-4046             Fax: 413-665-0975

James H. Burrill

Wrisley Funeral Home of South Deerfield is handling the funeral arrangements, which will be private

South Deerfield - James H. Burrill, 73, a long-time resident of South Deerfield, died of a heart attack while skiing at Stratton, VT, on January 31, 2018. He was born in Chicago, IL in 1944, to James H. Burrill and Frances Snow Burrill. He graduated from Evanston Township High School, earned his B.S. in physics from the University of Ohio, and his M.S. in computer science from UMASS Amherst.


After graduation, he worked at UMASS Amherst in the computer science department and then Amerinex Artificial Intelligence, INC. He returned to UMASS as a computer research scientist before retiring in 2007.


His love of flying led him to pursue hang gliding. Once he tired of carrying the hang glider up to the launch pad, he decided to build himself an ultralight air craft that he flew out of Pilgrim Airport in Whately, MA. He then received his pilot’s license and started flying small planes out of the Orange Airport. In retirement, he developed his passion for photography, and wrote a novel and several books of poetry. He also enjoyed skiing, boating and watching Patriots’ games with his family.   When he wasn’t flying, he could often be seen walking up Sugarloaf Mountain with his faithful dog, Powder. He recently became a member of the Valley Life Church in South Deerfield.


He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joyce W. Burrill, his two daughters, Katherine and Jennifer of South Deerfield, his sister Lucille Johnson and her husband Harold Johnson of Battle Creek, MI, and his Aunt Julia Jane Watrous of Palm Desert, CA, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.


His family would like to thank the staff at Stratton Mountain Urgent Care Clinic and the Stratton Mountain ski patrol for their efforts at trying to save him.


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Powder’s former home, the Dakin Animal Shelter, or to your favorite charity. They also ask that you cheer for the Patriots, his favorite team, on Superbowl Sunday.


Wrisley Funeral Home of South Deerfield is handling the funeral arrangements, which will be private.   Expressions of sympathy are available at www.wrisleyfuneralhome.com.