Brian Russell Burrows



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The Honourable Justice Brian Burrows died on November 19, 2022. He had been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in January 2022.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Barbara; their children, Janet (Jason) and Lisa (Cameron), both of Kelowna, B.C.; his son, Andrew (Heather) of Edmonton; his eight grandchildren: Desrée, Tayla, Siobhan, Kaiya, Addison, Jensen, Cassie, and Sage; his sister, Beverley (Harry) of Edmonton; aunts and uncles, numerous nieces and nephews, and friends and colleagues.

Brian was born in Camrose, Alberta, on August 21, 1951, to Bob and Betty Burrows. He graduated from Camrose Composite High School in 1969. He attended the University of Alberta for a B.A. and LL.B., graduating from law in 1974. He and Barbara had been close friends growing up at school, church, and university, and they married in 1972 while both were students at the U of A.

Brian articled to Rod McLennan, K.C., at McLennan Ross. He took a year’s leave of absence in 1976 to attend the University of London, England, where he earned an LL.M. He returned to McLennan Ross in 1977 and became a partner. From 1987 to 1990 he was a Legal Counsel at the Alberta Law Reform Institute at the University of Alberta and, during his time there and afterward, was a sessional lecturer in the Faculty of Law. In 1990 he returned to McLennan Ross and was appointed King’s Counsel in 1992.

In 1998 Brian was appointed a Justice of the Court of King’s (formerly Queen’s) Bench of Alberta and continued to hold that office at the time of his death. He was also a Deputy Justice of the Nunavut Court of Justice, being privileged to sit in Iqaluit and many of the communities of Nunavut over the years.

Brian and Barbara were heavily involved in the Anglican Church of Canada. They were long-time members of All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Edmonton. Brian was involved in the governance of the church, and for many years was Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, Chancellor of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land, and Vice-Chancellor of the Anglican Church of Canada. He was awarded the Anglican Award of Merit for service to all four levels of the church, and an honourary Doctor of Canon Law from the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad Theological Seminary at the University of Saskatchewan.

Camrose Composite High School honoured him in 2007 when he was inducted onto the CCHS Wall of Fame for his service to his profession and his community.

Brian loved music and especially Broadway musicals. He exercised that love of music growing up by singing in the choir at St. Andrew’s, Camrose, and singing lead roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas at Camrose Composite High School. Over the years he sang with the U of A Mixed Chorus, the Tilford Bach Festival Choir while living in London, the Richard Eaton Singers, and the choir at All Saints’ Cathedral. He could often be heard singing lyrics from his favourite musicals, whether it was while playing the piano, driving on holidays, or listening to his favourite Sirius XM Broadway channel, and he would often quote a famous (or not so famous) line from a song in response to someone else’s comment.

He and Barb had many trips to New York and London to attend musical productions or many excellent plays. While the family was growing up and after the children had left home there were many trips to visit cousins in England, and to see parts of Canada, US, Europe, and the Holy Land. And there were several trips to watch the Toronto Blue Jays play, at home or on the road.

Sundays were always favourite times in the Burrows household when the family gathered for Sunday dinner. Brian loved to have the family together, to do that weekly check-in with the adults, and he especially enjoyed watching his eight grandchildren grow and mature. He loved you all very much and was very proud of each of you. His loves were his family, his work with the law, his church, and the Blue Jays. He diligently read most cases from the Court of King’s Bench, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada, and avidly followed British news.

A Funeral Mass and Celebration of Life will be held at All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral, 10035 -103 Street, Edmonton, on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. with The Very Reverend Alexandra Meek officiating.

Donations in Brian’s memory may be made to All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral, 10035 – 103 Street, Edmonton, or to a charity of one’s choice.

In Loving Memory of
Brian Russell Burrows
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