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Adair Funeral Homes - Dodge Chapel
1050 North Dodge Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 326-4343

Theodore Burgess William Jr.


1926 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Theodore Burgess William Jr. Obituary
William Theodore Burgess, Jr. died peacefully in the presence of John Heefner, on December 12, 2013. Bill was preceded in death by his father, William Theodore Burgess; his mother, Leona (Johnston) Burgess and his brother, James (Jimmy) Burgess. Bill is survived by his life partner, John Heefner; John's sister, Barbara Heefner; his brother, Malcolm Burgess; nephews, Steve, Michael and Scott; nieces, Stephanie and Diane and many other family members and friends. Bill served in the U.S. Army in Europe. Born March 21, 1926 in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, Bill spent his life inspiring others on and off the stage. In 1947, Bill graduated from N.H. Fay High School in Dexter, Maine, and he earned his Bachelor's degree in English from Colby College in 1951. He received his Master's degree in 1961 from Cornell University, where he studied Dramatic Production and Speech with a thesis focus on the Portland, Maine, Children's Theater. He spent many summers dedicated to post graduate studies, including the U. of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1961, the U. of AZ in 1964, a Psychodrama workshop through the U. of Maine in 1967, and the U. of Bridgeport Shakespeare Institute in 1969. Bill began his career in education teaching all subjects to eighth graders in Newport, ME, in 1951, followed by teaching HS English and Drama in Gorham, ME from 1952-1955. He also taught high school in Portland, ME from 1955-1963 before moving to Tucson, where he taught English at Rincon HS in 1963-1964. Bill then taught Speech and Drama at Palo Verde HS from 1964-1968. When Sahuaro HS opened, he took the lead as its first Drama teacher and founded a legendary program between 1968 and his retirement in 1983. In 1994, he was inducted into the Sahuaro HS Cougar Foundation Hall of Fame, which he actively supported. Bill requested that all remembrances in his honor be sent for scholarships to the Sahuaro Cougar Foundation, P.O. Box 18181; Tucson, AZ, 85731. A Memorial tribute in celebration of his life will be held in the Sahuaro HS Little Theater on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Dodge Chapel.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Mar. 16, 2014
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