Adam Burris, a graduate of Montezuma-Cortez High School, was an exemplary person. He achieved high academic success and was a role model to his peers for his tenacity, wit, and talent. In December 2012, Adam was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia which he battled for the next two years before passing away on January 30, 2015 at the age of 22.
During his time in various hospitals, Adam encountered many trials all while wearing a brave face. On the day of his diagnosis, he said that he was scared but that it would not beat him. It was not always easy, and there were many dark days he went through including the passing of his father, Frank, in November of 2014. However, Adam did not stop fighting for himself until the very end. He had many opportunities to give up, and he simply refused to do so.
While battling cancer, Adam continued to strive for excellence. He graduated with his Associate of Arts in Music from Laramie County Community College where he played tuba and trombone and sang with the choirs. He was named an outstanding soloist in a number of jazz competitions. He was a high performing rep with a marketing company and had plans to open his own private teaching studio in southern Colorado. And he continued to make people smile and encouraged them to be the best that they could be. His determination to succeed and help others on their path to success never wavered. He was always there to make the situation just a little bit happier and just a little bit lighter.
Adam was loved deeply and widely by his large family at home in Cortez, as well as by countless classmates, co-workers, teammates, and friends. His teachers have described him as “the type of student you became a teacher for.” He was academically and musically exceptional, and at the same time, a hilarious person to be around. He continues to inspire his loved ones today and shows us that “Champions find a way.”