Affectionately regarded as “The Choose,” the Honorable John Robert Burgess Sr., a cherished resident of Livingston Parish, handed away peacefully at the age of 77 on the evening of Tuesday, July 27, 2021, at his dwelling in Carter Plantation on the first 18th hole.
Born on December 10, 1943, in Macon, Georgia, John was the only son of Charles Donald Burgess and Harryotte Fick Burgess. John had an intellect and ingenuity pretty identical to that of his father Charles, who is credited with inventing and holds the patent for carpet tape, as perfectly as the involved glue and iron applicator that revolutionized the carpet marketplace globally.
Despite the fact that, his father and uncles were all Georgia Tech alumni, John set his sights on getting to be a Louisiana Condition College Tiger, in which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Organ General performance and was recognised for his eager skill to play the most tough organ parts at any time composed. Together with taking part in a arduous musical degree application with a minor in Small business Regulation and Industrial Psychology, John located time to provide as a constitution member and two-time vice president of the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at LSU. Alongside one another, with his foreseeable future brothers-in-law, the late Thomas Simpson Sharp, together with Michael Raymond Sharp and Gaston Louis Lanaux III, John will for good be regarded as a founding father of the EK Chapter.
Like his father and grandfather before him, John proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1970. Through his assistance, he was a faculty member for the U.S. Sign Corps in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and an Outpost Communications Commander in Vietnam. Immediately after his tour of duty, he was awarded the U.S. Army Commendation Medal and Bronze Star. In 1970, John transitioned from active duty to the U.S. Army Reserve in which he served till his retirement in 1987 at the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Even though John was encouraged to get about the loved ones carpet enterprise, he selected a occupation in law. Freshly married, John and his dear and beloved bride, the previous Beverly Ann Sharp, moved to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1971 so that he could attend Cumberland Law at Samford University. With his doctorate of jurisprudence gained in 1975, John moved Beverly and his youthful daughter Margaret back again to Louisiana to established up exercise. Later that same 12 months, his son and namesake Beau was born.
John owned the personal legislation agency, Burgess & Lee, for 22 many years, attaining prominence as an legal professional for the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Place of work and 1982 Livingston practice derailment case. He went on to serve as a magistrate choose for the City of Walker for 11 years, an ad hoc decide for Denham Springs City Courtroom for 4 years and a state listening to officer for the Louisiana Rehabilitation Solutions Agency.
Though Livingston Parish savored John’s wit, mental prowess and discerning application of the regulation, he experienced yet another aim in thoughts – to become an administrative legislation decide like his mentor, the Honorable Henry Alvan Mentz Jr. This aspiration was realized when John was appointed by President Bill Clinton as an administrative law choose for the Social Protection Administration and sworn in on March 28, 1997. John experienced the privilege of serving on the federal bench for 24 many years. He famously hardly ever took unwell times and desired to rather donate them to federal staff about the region who required the hours. Suffice to say, John enjoyed his work immensely and not often took go away of the bench. Much like other judges of his caliber, John died in support.
John is a past former president of the 21st Judicial District and Livingston Parish Bar Associations and served three terms as a member of the Property of Delegates of the Louisiana State Bar Affiliation. He is a past chairman of the board for the Money Place Chapter of the American Purple Cross in Baton Rouge and served on the boards of the Southeastern Louisiana College Progress Foundation and the Southeast Louisiana Lawful Services Corp. In 1999, the Louisiana congressional delegation organized for the American flag to be flown around the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in honor of his birthday.
With a servant’s coronary heart, John was an lively member of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, exactly where he was Senior Warden, as properly as lawful marketing consultant and substitute organist. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he could be depended upon each and every Sunday to be present at 8 a.m. to usher or serve in any capability required.
Alongside with a career complete of achievements and extended list of philanthropic pursuits, John experienced one particular a lot more passion – Carter House. He and his wife Beverly resided in the household for 30 yrs and lifted their small children, Margaret and Beau, there. The federal-model lifted property, which is situated in Springfield and on the Nationwide Sign up of Historic Areas for Louisiana, had been passed down as a result of generations of his wife Beverly’s family members, and the pair experienced the privilege and pleasure of being its final personal house owners.
His daughter Margaret shares many cherished and humorous memories from her childhood of him tending to his fatherly and domestic duties, like: cleaning the pool on Saturday mornings in swim trunks and a signature wide-brimmed straw hat and chasing a baffled squirrel out of the property soon after it experienced the misfortune of slipping down a single of the chimneys of the home’s five fireplaces. Margaret’s all-time favored memory, nevertheless, is when the Decide was dispatched by her and her brother’s screams to capture and remove a bat from her bedroom. In just a span of 5 minutes, John swooped in, caught the bat with a laundry basket, tossed it out of a dormer window, ordered his traumatized kids again to mattress and stomped back again down the stairs to capture the final bit of the evening news!
John instilled his like of music in his children. His son Beau believed that no accumulating was total without the need of very good tunes, amassing a catalog of much more than 20,000 music on his laptop. A nationally certified and certified specialist counselor, his daughter Margaret also is a board-licensed songs therapist. For both equally of John’s kids, tunes turned a device to set up connections with other folks.
While a Georgia native, John produced an affinity for several Louisiana pastimes and traditions, especially Carnival. He was active in various Carnival organizations. One of his most treasured Carnival activities was Margaret’s 1994 reign as Queen of the Caliphs of Cairo. To this working day, her crown and scepter maintain a location of honor on his desk.
The Decide is survived by: his beloved spouse of 54 several years, Beverly Ann Sharp Burgess his daughter, Dr. Margaret Stotesbury Burgess Wright son-in-law Brad William Wright and grandson Harrison Stafford Wright, who affectionately nicknamed him “DaDa Beau.”
John was preceded in loss of life by his mom and dad and most treasured and beloved son, John Robert Burgess Jr., recognized to all as Beau.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Harry McKneely and Son of Hammond. The Very Reverend Paul M. Bailey, M.Div., Rector of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Hammond will lead private funeral services on Saturday, August 7, 2021. Interment in the cemetery of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church will quickly observe a 1:45 p.m. graveside service with full army honors. Pals are invited to be part of John’s family members at the 1:45 p.m. graveside assistance and are requested to rejoice his life safely and securely by masking and physically distancing in response to the pandemic.
John’s daughter, Margaret, will serve as pallbearer. Brothers-in-regulation Gaston Lanaux III and Michael Sharp, sisters-in-regulation Judy Catania Sharp and Maude Saunders Sharp, his lawful secretary of 22 years Debra McKinney, and good friends Dr. C. Howard and Sue Nichols will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of bouquets, the Burgess loved ones requests donations to the Grace Memorial Episcopal Foundation (P.O. Box 1086, Hammond, Louisiana 70404) or North Oaks Hospice (P.O. Box 2668, Hammond, Louisiana 70404). The Judge’s daily life was extremely touched by both of those companies.
A visitor book is out there at www.harrymckneely.com
Printed in The Day-to-day Star on Aug. 3, 2021.