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Des Moines, IA 50313
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Harry R. Burgess


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Harry R. Burgess Obituary
Harry R. Burgess

Des Moines

Harry R. Burgess 91 died Tuesday April 4, 2017 at Scottish Rite Park. He was able to stay in his home on the "Burgess compound" in Saylor township except for the past seven months of his life. Though his stay was short at Scottish Rite his humor and frankness made him a "buddy" to staff and other residents alike. Harry graduated from Woodside High School at the age of 17. He went to work but was drafted into the Army in 1944. He served in Europe in the 89th Infantry Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Harry was also recognized (1995) by the Jewish Community Relations Commission of Greater Des Moines as an allied soldier who participated in the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. He and his brother Herb, were charter members of Boline/Manefredi V.F.W Post 9662 that was founded in 1949.

When he returned from Europe Harry went back to work at the Ford Implement plant. At this time he also met and stole the heart of Shirlee Mae Linfor. They were married for almost 60 years before Shirlee succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2008. Harry became a Master Mason of East Gate Lodge # 630 on November 6, 1957. Harry served as Secretary/Treasurer of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 991 a majority of his time at Ford and consequently was heavily involved in Democratic politics. He was the campaign manager for Polk County Supervisor "Red" Brannan and supported local, state and national Democratic politicians with his time and money.

After retiring at an early age, Harry enjoyed golf, his yard/gardening, his history books and his mean little Lhasa Apso, Samantha. He also enjoyed his 24 years of service as a member of the Polk County Board of Review. He was a devoted member of his V.F.W post and served in many positions including commander and he ran the golf league for several years.

Harry is survived by his children: Wendy (Dale) Frederick, Scott (Dyann) Burgess, and Chris (Lori) Burgess. He was a proud grandfather to his four grandchildren: Ross, Kelsey, Shane, and Kyle. He is also survived by his brother Herb (Jo Anne) Burgess and sister Norma Rynearson. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirlee and his sister Margaret Nordholm. "Handsome Harry" will be sorely missed by his family, extended family and friends.

Family will visit with friends from 4:00-6:00 on Sunday April 9th at Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Ave., Des Moines. Funeral services will be at 11:00 am Monday, April 10, at Grandview Lutheran Church; 2930 E. 13th Street, Des Moines, burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery. Following burial (1:00 pm), the family would like to invite family and friends of Harry for a Celebration of Life luncheon and refreshments at the V.F.W Post 9662; 1309 NE 66th Street, Des Moines.

Memorial contributions can be made to Grandview Lutheran Church, VFW Post 9662 or Iowa Public Radio.
Published in Des Moines Register from Apr. 7 to Apr. 9, 2017
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