James W Burgess (1931 - 2011)

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  • "I so enjoyed working at Lyle's from 1980 through 1985...."
    - Dennis Anderson
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    - Vera DiMaio
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Obituary – James W. Burgess
James W. Burgess, born August 2, 1931 in Port Angeles, Washington, passed away suddenly on Thursday, June 9, 2011 in Juneau, Alaska. Jim was raised in Plain, Washington near the town of Leavenworth. Jim was a very ambitious young man, as a teen he spent his summers on fire watch in Eastern Washington. Jim attended Washington State University where he met his wife of 46 years, Jane Burgess (Adams), a life –long Juneau resident who preceded him in death in 2001. Jim fell in love with Juneau, Alaska and that is where they made their home and raised their five children. Jim found happiness for the second time when he fell in love and married Jeannie Goetz a long-time family friend from Washington State in 2002.
Jim served in the United States Army 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean War as a Private First Class and Paratrooper and eight years in the Army Reserves. Jim was employed by the U.S. Forest Service for several years in Juneau. In the early 60's, he made a career change and took a position at Lyle's Hardware and Furniture where he quickly moved up into management and then became a partner/owner. Jim retired from Lyle's Hardware and Furniture in March 1984.
Jim was an avid bowler and was inducted into both the Gastineau Channel and Alaska State Bowlers Hall of Fame and served as Secretary for the Gastineau Channel Men's Bowling Association for more than two decades. He was a lifelong member of the Juneau Elks BPOE 420 where he held many offices including Exalted Ruler and District Deputy. He had a passion for fishing and hunting and spent the last 40 years fishing as a commercial hand troller on his beloved boat the "Jay Bee". In most recent years, Jim fished with his wife, Jeannie, and several of his children and grandchildren in the waters surrounding Hoonah.
Jim was a devoted family man; most of his vacations were centered around family activities, visiting his brothers, children and grandchildren in various States across the U.S. He was an avid reader, enjoyed working in the garden, loved the game of golf and traveled with the Juneau Golf Club for many tournaments. He was a crossword puzzle enthusiast and excelled at completing them daily. Jim loved spending time with his family and friends gathered around a table working a challenging jigsaw puzzle or playing various card games, dice, and dominoes.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Georgia Burgess, in-laws Scotty and Phyllis Adams, his first wife Jane Burgess and sister-in-law Gretchen Adams.
He is survived by his wife, Jeannie, his two brothers Ted Burgess (Betty) Gold Beach, OR and Dick Burgess (Louise) Leavenworth, WA; his son Keith Burgess (Sandy) Juneau, his daughters Sandra Harrison (Glenn) Citrus Heights, CA, Sue Schoenmann (John) Juneau, Betsy Fisher (Bob) Everett, WA and Kathy Ford (Gordon) Fife, WA; Stepsons Howard Goetz, Oregon and Bruce Goetz, Connecticut; nine Grandchildren: Keith Barkey, Melissa McCulloch, Cori Barkey, Ryan Williams, Valerie Stofle, Krista Fisher, Brandon Burgess, Kevin Burgess and Bobby Fisher; eight great grandchildren, sister-in-law, Virginia Reed Hannon (Doug) Juneau, AK and numerous nieces and nephews.
A short service and a celebration of Jim's life will be held on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 4:00pm at the Moose Lodge, 8335 Airport Blvd, Juneau, Alaska. Family and friends are all invited to attend.
Published in The Juneau Empire from June 16 to June 23, 2011
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