Raymond Gayle "Coach" Burgett
1934 - 2020
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Raymond Gayle "Coach" Burgett

Des Moines - Raymond Gayle Burgett, 86, passed away Sunday, May 10, 2020, at Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines due to complications of Covid-19. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date with inurnment at Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Des Moines.

Gayle was born January 25, 1934, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Raymond and Iva (Campbell) Burgett. A lifelong Des Moines resident he graduated from East High School and Drake University. Gayle married his highschool sweetheart, Nancy Russell, on June 9, 1956. He served in the US Army from 1956 - 1958. Gayle was a teacher, coach and referee for Leon schools, Urbandale schools, and at Mitchell Elementary, East High and Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines, retiring in 1996. He was a substitute teacher in his retirement.

Gayle enjoyed delivering day-old bread to church, family and friends. Fishing and going to his acreage in southern Iowa were some of his favorite pastimes. He loved spending time with his grandchildren. His faith was very important to him and was a member of Galilee and Calvary Baptist Church and a current member of Union Park UMC.

Gayle is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Nancy, his children, Lynne (Morris) Murphy, Thomas R. Burgett and Lisa Jo (Jeff) Gift, all of Des Moines; his grandchildren, Taryn (Brian Burns) Murphy, Daniel (Ariel Alstott) Murphy, Laurel (C.P. Rhone) Murphy, Kayla (Rocky) Thom, Grace Morelock, and Spencer Gift; his brother, Jim (Sharon) Quirk of Granbury, TX; niece Pam (Rusty) Cobern and nephew Todd Trautner. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister and brother-in-law, Margaret Lucille and Wes Trautner.

Contributions may be made to the family for a memorial to be directed later. Online condolences will be welcomed at IlesCares.com.






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Published in the Des Moines Register from May 11 to May 13, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Celebration of Life
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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8 entries
May 20, 2020
This is Raymond Gayle "Coach" Burgett's son, Tom. I have some more details about his life that even family might not know. In his high school yearbook he wrote that his goal was to be a suvcessful teacher and coach. That is exactly what he did. He had a great sports career. He was first team all city, at tackle for East High. He then went to Drake University on a full scholarship. He would not have gone to college except for football. His father told him he was wasting his time with sports. Years later he earned a Master's degree in education to further his education in teaching. He once told me that his proudest achievement was in teaching, not coaching. As a teacher and coach he touched thousands of kids lives. I once estimated that approximately 100,000 in Central Iowa and Des Moines knew him. Although he taught and coached many subjects he was a Physical Education and Health Teacher. I think the sport he enjoyed most was coaching and officating wrestling. He was tough and realized that Wrestling was a tough sport. He started Urbandale's wrestling program and had a state champ his first year. In his later coaching career he enjoyed coaching girl's basketball and track as a hurdling specialist. I could go on but his proudest achievement was giving love and encouragement to his students. He hugged kids who did not get that at home. He let marginal football players a chance to play when other coaches would likely have not. He was a great man and will be missed by many and of course his family. Rest in peace Dad and know you were loved by many. ,This is Raymond Gayle "Coach" Burgett's son, Tom. I have some more details about his life that even family might not know. In his high school yearbook he wrote that his goal was to be a suvcessful teacher and coach. That is exactly what he did. He had a great sports career. He was first team all city, at tackle for East High. He then went to Drake University on a full scholarship. He would not have gone to college except for football. His father told him he was wasting his time with sports. Years later he earned a Master's degree in education to further his education in teaching. He once told me that his proudest achievement was in teaching, not coaching. As a teacher and coach he touched thousands of kids lives. I once estimated that approximately 100,000 in Central Iowa and Des Moines knew him. Although he taught and coached many subjects he was a Physical Education and Health Teacher. I think the sport he enjoyed most was coaching and officating wrestling. He was tough and realized that Wrestling was a tough sport. He started Urbandale's wrestling program and had a state champ his first year. In his later coaching career he enjoyed coaching girl's basketball and track as a hurdling specialist. I could go on but his proudest achievement was giving love and encouragement to his students. He hugged kids who did not get that at home. He let marginal football players a chance to play when other coaches would likely have not. He was a great man and will be missed by many and of course his family. Rest in peace Dad and know you were loved by many.
Thomas Burgett
May 15, 2020
I got to know Coach at one of our high school reunions. It was not a long conversation but he impressed me with how kind and thoughtful he was. I know wrestlers in our class like Pat Hanson 65 and others stayed in touch with him throughout their lives. He was an important influence and was much loved. Sending love to his family.
Betsy Clarke
May 15, 2020
So sorry to read about Coach's passing away. He was such a great person. I knew him from McDonalds. Didn't really talk to him much. I know that he is watching down from Heaven and being a guardian angel for all his friends and relatives
Marcella Betts
May 14, 2020
We thank you all so very much for your thoughts and prayers. Out hearts are broken, but we have many beautiful memories with dad. Dad had many students and athletes over his 38 year teaching career, and he loved you all! Dad has now finished his race. Though not perfect, he had a good, long life of hard work. He was born in a little house by the AE Dairy. Dad grew up poor as far as money but rich because of his family's faith in Jesus. He is now in the great cloud of believers, watching over and protecting us. May God bless you all.
Sincerely, from the family of Coach, Gayle Burgett❤❤❤
Lisa Burgett Gift
May 14, 2020
Tom and Family,

Having Coached in Leon, Bondurant, and wrestling in the Des Moines Area, I am saddened to hear of coaches death. I know he was highly respected for his influence in the teaching and wrestling world. My thoughts are with your family.

Wes Creason Indianola
May 13, 2020
Tom,
My Condolences to you and your family. I know how concerned you were for your Father's care. Having lost my Father on March 26th I know how the current environment impacts the Family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Judy Anthony
May 13, 2020
Coach Burgett was the guy that got me started in Wrestling. I also got to deliver bread with him for a couple of summers. One hell of a great guy. Loved him.
Ted DeBord
May 13, 2020
Gayle was the referee for many of my most memorable wrestling matches wresting for Bondurant-Farrar. I had a lot of respect for the man and will remember him with good feelings the rest of my days. Thank you Gayle for your contributions to high school athletics
Steve Palm
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