James Louis Burgess (1940 - 2019)

Obituary
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Mr. James Louis Burgess, known to those who love him as "Buck," age 78, passed away Tuesday, March 13, 2019. He was born October 5, 1940, in Bonifay, Florida, to Jesse James and Ruth Jackson Burgess. Mr. Burgess was a resident of Westville, Florida. He was Methodist by faith. One of the many traits Mr. Burgess possessed and taught his loved ones to value was a strong work ethic. He traveled the Southeast as a Heavy Equipment Operator for Soule Construction, based out of Pensacola. After leaving Soule Construction, Mr. Burgess moved back to Holmes County where he owned and operated a bulldozer for several years, clearing land, digging ponds, and preparing chicken house pads. Later, he worked for F&W Construction, based out of Ozark, Alabama, until he retired. He loved and enjoyed being a crane operator and proudly contributed to the building of hundreds of bridges. Mr. Burgess had many hobbies. Throughout the years he enjoyed fishing, riding horses, raising farm animals, working in the garden, and water skiing. He operated a sawmill, made cane syrup with his daddy, and was known to many as the "generator man," going house to house after hurricanes to give members of Western Holmes County a chance to run water and cool their freezers for no monetary charge. Mr. Burgess also loved to learn. It was not uncharacteristic to find him at the kitchen table reading a heavy equipment or automobile instruction manual. You could even find him reading and working problems from a calculus book. As a result of this love, he spent several years working on clocks and watches for family and friends or working on and communicating to others as "Cat Man" on his CB Radio. Later in life he joined the technological world and enjoyed learning about cameras, video equipment, computers, and cell phones. He wanted to know exactly what made devices work.

Mr. Burgess was preceded in death by his father, Jesse Burgess; his mother, Ruth Jackson Burgess; and his son, Ricky Burgess.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, whom he loved dearly, Joyce Gay Griffin Burgess; his daughter, Lisa Rowe and husband, Larry of Ponce de Leon, Florida; his brother, Danny Burgess and wife, Lou of Prosperity, Florida; his sister, Vicki Keel and husband, Andy of Faydette, Alabama; one granddaughter, Hillary Williams and husband, Shane of Freeport, Florida; one grandson, Harley Rowe and wife, Melissa of DeFuniak Springs, Florida; two great-granddaughters, Gabrielle and Grace Williams; and a large, loving extended family.

Mr. Burgess was laid to rest Saturday, March 16, 2019, in the Westville Community Cemetery with Sims Funeral Home directing. He will be loved and missed by many. The Burgess Family would like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice for the kindness and care they showed Mr. Burgess in his final months. We are forever grateful.
Funeral Home
Sims Funeral Home
201 West Pennsylvania Avenue
Bonifay, FL 32425
(850) 547-3841
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Published in Washington County News and Holmes County Times-Advertiser on Mar. 20, 2019
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