He was born May 30, 1914 in Chillicothe, Iowa to Vernie Ray and Flora Gaye (Moss) Burgess. In November 1932 he married Wilma Van Loon and after a brief illness, she passed away in March of 1933. On December 20, 1934, he married Mary Dotson, who passed away in 1989 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. They had celebrated 55 years of marriage. He was preceded in death by his parents, both wives, two brothers Ray and Lawrence and two sisters Irene Meadows and Iva Belle Combs.
George spent a lifetime farming, ranching, raising and training horses in Iowa, Colorado and Missouri. He ranched in Unionville, MO area for 26 years.
He took pride in his land, cattle, and horses, and received a number of awards and recognition for his efforts. He was active in local and regional organizations, serving as president of the Putnam County Nursing Home, president of the Unionville Cooperative Calf sale, the Township Road Board, president of the Louisa County, IA Cattle Feeders Assoc., and a charter member and president of the Circle J Morgan Horse Assoc. in Colorado. During World War II, he served in the 177th Army Corp of Engineers, and was stationed in Alaska. He sold the Putnam County ranch in 1990 and moved to Trenton, MO where he resided until suffering a stroke in 2003. George then moved to York, NE where he lived in The Mahoney House near his son Roger. In August of 2005, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. After two surgeries and a prolonged recovery period, he passed away peacefully in the presence of his family.
George was a member of a non-denominational Christian fellowship. His life was guided by his Christian values and was an example to his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by one son Roger and his wife Gerry Burgess of York and one daughter Thelma G. Hennen of Pueblo, Co. Seven Grandchildren; Pamela and her husband Eric Hennen Rollison of Davenport, IA, Bradley R. and his wife Toñi Hennen of Colorado Springs CO, Kathy E. and her husband Michael Phoenix I of San Antonio, TX, Gentry R. and his wife Elaine Burgess of Kirkland, WA, Troy D. and his wife Beth Burgess also of Kirkland, WA, Brian T. Burgess of Phoenix, AZ, Wade and his wife Andrea Burgess of Omaha and Jennifer L. Burgess of Los Angeles, CA. Great grandchildren include Michael Phoenix II and Mikayla Phoenix both of San Antonio, TX, Victoria Burgess and Grant Burgess both of Kirkland, WA, Micah and Luke Burgess both of Omaha. Also surviving is a special friend Marie Smith of Unionville, MO.
Funeral services are scheduled for 9:00 a.m., Saturday, September 17, 2005 at the Metz Chapel with Stanley Morrison officiating. Graveside services will then be held at 5:00 p.m., Saturday at the Unionville Cemetery at Unionville, Missouri. Memorials may be directed to the family. Visitation begins after 1:00 p.m., Thursday at the mortuary. The family will greet friends and neighbors from 7:00 to 8:30 pm., Friday evening at the mortuary.