on January 17, 2014 - 5:04 PM
March 8, 1919 – Jan. 7, 2014
Eugene R. Burgess Sr., of Hanford Bay and Hamburg, a teacher, coach and guidance counselor, died Jan. 7 in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 94.
Born in Port Jervis, he attended Alfred University on a track scholarship and set several track records there. He joined the Army Air Forces in 1941 and served as a navigator during World War II.
He finished his bachelor’s degree at Alfred in 1946 and his master’s degree in education in 1949, then returned to active duty with the Air Force in the Korean War, attaining the rank of captain.
Returning from service, Mr. Burgess worked as a counselor with the Veterans Administration in Buffalo, then taught high school science and math.
He went to Silver Creek Central School in 1956, beginning as a teacher, then becoming a guidance counselor. He was director of guidance when he retired in 1983.
He worked with the state Education Department to develop new guidance certification standards, coordinated seminars for high school students at Fredonia State College and pursued studies at the University at Buffalo.
He also helped form the Northern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union for teachers and staff in the Silver Creek and Forestville schools in 1969, served as treasurer from 1970 to 1983 and was on the board of directors for many years.
He coached track and cross country teams at Silver Creek and officiated at events with the Western New York Track and Field Association for more than 50 years.
He was a life member of the Chautauqua County Guidance Counselors Association, a member of the Blessed John Paul II Senior Club and a former member of Lambda Chi fraternity. He also was a devoted American Red Cross blood donor.
A passionate sports fan, he also enjoyed music, theater and investing.
His wife of 44 years, Jeannette L. Stephens Burgess, died in 1986. He was married in 1993 to the former Ursula Hamusa.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two sons, Stephen and Joseph; three daughters, Ann Conklin, Linda and Julie Sabrosky; three stepsons, Dr. Wolfgang Miggiani, Victor Miggiani and Christian Miggiani; a stepdaughter, Rose Pavolko; a sister, Muriel Spordone; 15 grandchildren; 14 stepgrandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. next Saturday in Blessed John Paul II Catholic Church, 2052 Lakeview Road, Lake View.