Obituary for William J. "Billy" Burgess
Kingsford-William J. “Billy” Burgess, 88, of Kingsford, Mich., passed away Friday, November 10, 2017, at ManorCare Health Services, Kingsford, Mich.
He was born May 16, 1929, in Iron Mountain, Mich., son of the late William C. and Ora (Slocum) Burgess. Billy went to Iron Mountain Grade School for all 8 years before his family moved to Channing, Mich., where his mom taught school. He graduated from high school in Channing in 1947. Billy worked on the Milwaukee Road as a station agent for 20 years. He also was the rural mail carrier for the Pembine Post Office for 20 years. Billy and his wife, Ruth, had three sons and owned and operated the Algonquin Hotel in Pembine for 8 years. He had a fleet of school buses for several years and also coached the Babe Ruth League for 2 years with Larry Bierstaker and Jim Bolander. Billy served on the board of directors at Grace Lutheran Church in Pembine and on the town board in Beecher.
On November 29, 1996 in Bandara, Tex., Billy was united in marriage to Karen Bousley. They loved touring Texas and the hill country there. Later they bought and settled in Fiesta Village in Mission, Tex. where they spent winters for many years. Bill and Karen spent summers in their home out in the country in Dunbar, Wis. That home was where lots of animals came into the yard. They both loved animals. Billy and Karen adopted a yorkie that needed to be rescued in Fiesta Village and named her Misty Blue. She spent a few years with them before leaving this world and going to Rainbow Bridge. They also adopted a maltese that was named Haley Kate. In 2012 they moved to Evergreen Senior Living in Kingsford. Together they joined the Golden K’s and Golder Throats and enjoyed it very much when his health said he could.
Billy loved flying his own plane, fishing in Canada, playing shuffleboard and golf in Texas, where he got his first hole in one when he was almost 75. Until his health didn’t allow it anymore, he loved golfing at Green Acres.
Survivors include his loving wife of 20 years, Karen; four sons, Rick (Debbie) Burgess from Pembine and their children, Heather and Jenny; Tom (Cindy) Burgess from Rapid River, Mich., and their children, Jamie, Nicole and Kyle; Tim (Robin) Burgess from Sherwood, Wis., and their children, Liz, Chris and Mindy, and Dean (Angela) Meyer, Florida; and lots of great-grandchildren that he hadn’t had a chance to meet; Karen’s children also survive him. They loved him too. Karen’s families are; Linda (Ron) Hill from Iron Mountain and Laura (Mike) Kondratuk from Brookings, South Dakota, Mike (Sue) Nelson from New Berlin, Wis. and Daniel (Joann) Nelson from Mukwonago, Wis.; step-grandchildren, Jaimie (Matt) Scott, Jessica and Joey Hill, Nathan (Brystle) and Catherine Kondratuk, Jake (Shawnya), Nick and Dee Nelson, and Michael (Alea), Matthew and Linsy Nelson; and three nieces that were so kind to him, Sue (Mike) Fornetti, Janie (Jim) LaHaie both of Iron Mountain, Mich. and Sharon (Earl) Morris, Midland, Mich.
In addition to his parents, Billy was preceded in death by one sister, Ann Marie (Richard) Lee; his second wife, Wanda; and a step-grandson, Erik Kondratuk.
Visitation will be held Saturday, November 18, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Jacobs Funeral Home, Iron Mountain, Mich. A celebration of life will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Pastor Doug Johnson will officiate. Burial will be in Pembine Cemetery in the Spring.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Billy or leave a condolence for his family online at www.JacobsFuneralHomes.com.
The family has chosen the Jacobs Funeral Home, Iron Mountain, to honor Billy’s legacy of life.