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Obituary: John A. Burgess, Sr.

John and Virginia
John and Virginia "Ginny" Burgess

posted at 11:23 am Thu May 12th, 2016 by (WherezIt_Staff)

John All Burgess, Sr. of Morristown, Vermont died on Tuesday May 9, 2016 surrounded by his family as was his habit. Mr. Burgess was born April 8, 1935, in Old Bennington, VT, the son of Albert and Julia Burgess.

He is survived by his best friend, Virginia Grey Burgess, his six children, John Jr. of Eugene, Oregon, Matthew Burgess of Morristown, Barbara Jenne of Hardwick, Brian Burgess of Wolcott, Timothy Burgess of Waterville and Peter Burgess of Wolcott. He also left behind 17 grandchildren, whom he counted amongst his greatest treasures.

Mr. Burgess' life was defined by the word passion. He carried this vision into all aspects of his life. This passion defined his education from his involvement as a graduate at Bennington High School in 1953 where he began to exercise his gift of oratory and debate. He graduated Cum Laude from The University of Vermont in 1957 with a degree in Rhetoric Public Address and Political Science. While at UVM, he was a member of The Boulder Society, National President of Tau Kappa Alpha, President of The Student Association and continued to build his passion for speaking and debate achieving the title of National Debate Champion for two consecutive years. While at law school at Boston University, where he graduated Suma Cum Laude in 1960, he was part of the winning National Moot Court Team and was on The Law Review.

His greatest support and love was his wife Virginia Grey Burgess whom he met as a senior at UVM in 1956. The love he found in her defined his course for the remainder of his life. John's love for his friend sparked a lifetime of dedication to public service. During his legal career, he served as member of the governing board of The American Trial Lawyer's Association, President of The Roscoe Pound Foundation, was admitted to the bar in all of the federal appellate courts, The Supreme Court of The United States and many state courts. His focus in practicing law was always in seeing that justice be done for all people regardless of their social or economic status.

It was his belief in doing good for the many which inspired his activism in the political arena. He began that adventure as State's Attorney in Bennington County in 1960, and continued this activism with his candidacy for Congress in 1976 and in varying roles in both local and state Democratic politics. He was a passionate believer in the possibility of change.

The true focus of John's life was his love for his family. It is appropriate that his deathbed was surrounded by his children, grandchildren and lifelong partner. While much of his legacy remains in the public arena, his love abides with his family.

A memorial service honoring his life will be held on Monday, May 16 from 4 until 7 PM at:

The Stowe Community Church
137 Main St.
Stowe, Vermont 05661

Relevant Address(es):
Montpelier, VT 05602 (Set as Local)
Stowe, VT 05672 (Set as Local)
Morrisville, VT 05661 (Set as Local)
Burlington, VT 05401 (Set as Local)

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