1940 ~ 2013
George Earle "Smokey" Burgess passed away 13 October 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah after a short illness. Born 24 January 1940 to Willie Groves and Ethel Mae Graham Burgess. He Married Betty Jo Buford 9 March 1964 in Folkston, Georgia. Their marriage was solemnized in the Laie Hawaii Temple 17 June 1970.
Smokey was enlisted in the US Navy
for eleven years then appointed as a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Army
for eleven more years. Serving as a helicopter pilot for 10 years. After retiring from the military he continued working as a pilot and instructor pilot for the US Army.
He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Tampa and a Masters Degree from Troy State University, compliments of Uncle Sam.
Smokey loved road trips (so long as there was an ample supply of popcorn), holding his children and grandchildren in "Monkey Traps", playing golf and a good debate. He endeared himself to many wherever he went. Smokey was a "Father" to many: his arms, heart and home were always open. Smokey served as a Temple worker in the Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; Columbia, SC; and the Salt Lake City temples.
He is survived by his wife Betty, his daughter-in-law Robin Elliott Burgess, daughters Cathy (James) Green, Becca (James) Clingenpeel, Rachel (James) Gilman, and 17 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Robert Burgess, brother and sister-in-law Scurry (Marianne Bond) Burgess and his parents.
There will be a viewing on Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, Salt Lake City, UT. The funeral will be held on Friday, 18 Oct 2013 at 12:30 pm at the Forestview Ward building, 1111 East Charlton Ave (2818 South), Salt Lake City, UT, where there will be a viewing from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm prior to the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Smokey's memory to the
or one of the following charities that had special meaning to Smokey: Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House, or the LDS Perpetual Education fund, Humanitarian Aid fund, or Missionary fund.
Tributes and memories can be posted at: www.HolbrookMortuary.com