It is with great
regret and sorrow that I must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Pete
Burgess, on July 12, 2018, in Leavenworth, KS, after a courageous three year
battle with cancer.
Pete is survived by his wife,
Debby; their daughter, Elizabeth; son-in-law Justin; and granddaughter, Camille.
A funeral service will be held
at Leavenworth National
Cemetery at 11 AM, July 25, 2018. A memorial service officiated by Chaplain
Johnathon Secrest will follow at the Burgess’s residence. A dinner for guests
will follow the memorial service.
Condolences may be
sent to Debby at 922 S 5th Street, Leavenworth, KS 66048-3322.
Well done, Pete. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\F-1 Pete Burgess.pdf
Well, Pete, you would have enjoyed your
funeral! Debby did a bang up job of planning everything, and it all was well
executed. The spot on top of the hill in the Leavenworth Veterans’ Cemetery was
perfect, the weather was great for this time of the year, and the Army funeral
detail executed everything to perfection. The gathering at your house
afterwards was one of the most popular places in town that day, and people came
from all over. Your collegues from Kansas City were especially in evidence.
You are going to be greatly missed by both the Kansas City and Leavenworth
Your brother Bill flew in from
California, and I got to know him quite well during the several days that he was
here. Your sister couldn’t make it, being cut off by the fires in the Redding
area of Northern California, but she sent her best. Bill and I spent time
together gathering documents and doing a basic writeup to submit to the VA to
see if we can get an award of DIC (that’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
in VA speak) for Debby. It may not be a lot of money, but she is entitled to it
as you died of an Agent Orange related illness - your final payment for all that
time that you spent in Vietnam. Heres hoping that we do a good job in the
submission, because you always did a good job in life.
Be Thou at Peace,
Jim Mathison, ’61
I put in the part about Agent Orange in
hope that it might remind even one person who reads this to check into his
entitlements from the VA. Any documented presence in VN is sufficient to
establish contact with that awful stuff. Pete’s brother Bill was a Navy carrier
pilot who, even though he normally flew from carriers, several times landed on
VN soil. I have encouraged him to start building his case for the future.
Burgess passed July 12, 2018 at his home in Leavenworth, Kansas of Cancer. Peter
Dwight Burgess passed July 12, 2018 at his home in Leavenworth, Kansas of
He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Peter attended West Point and
after graduation obtained the Airborne and Ranger badges for which he completed
the mountain phase and the jungle phase. He served several tours in Germany and
three tours in Vietnam where he was awarded seven bronze stars for valor.
return to the states after his second tour, he became an instructor of R.O.T.C.
at the Ohio State University during the turmoil years of Vietnam protests. He
met his wife, Debby, who had been assigned to interview Vietnam returnees and
learn their opinion of the Red Cross in Vietnam, which was then published in the
Columbus Dispatch. Peter attended the Command and General Staff College (CGSC)
at Ft. Leavenworth and earned a Master of Military Arts and Science. He also
received a Master of Science from the American Technological University of
Texas, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri.
established the Burgess and Johnson real estate appraisers and for over 20 years
had occupied an ofﬁce in Kansas City where he used his skills to appraise
everything from abandoned hospitals, large business buildings, shopping centers,
etc., and even appraised “The Edge of Hell”, a Halloween haunted house under the
Broadway bridge. He loved this work; he saw each appraisal as a large puzzle. He
worked to his last breath, as he requested a telephone number of a client
minutes before he died.
He was a member of the Kansas City Rotary Club #13, and
participated in various community projects. He also was a passionate member of
the former Kansas City Club, a member of the Sewing Circle and Owls Club. The
Memorial Chapel at Ft. Leavenworth was his church home. His passion was building
classic vintage cars and could be seen driving around in his red MG he had built
motor and all and a white Austin Healey.
He leaves behind his wife, Debby,
Leavenworth; daughter, Elizabeth, son-in-law, Justin, and three year old
granddaughter, Camille Swisher, Lawrence, Kansas; his brother, Bill Burgess and
sister, Mary Markle, San Diego, California and many cousins and nieces and
Calling Hours are at Belden Larkin Funeral Home Tuesday,
July 24, 2018 at 707 S 6th St. in Leavenworth 5–7 p.m. He will be buried at the
Leavenworth National cemetery, 150 Muncie Rd., (not Ft. Leavenworth) with full
military honors. It is located to the south of the Veterans Administration
campus. Immediately following the burial there will be a brief memorial service
at his home in Leavenworth, 922 South 5th St., (not 5th Ave) followed by lunch.
All are invited to attend all events. He will be missed. Arrangements have been
entrusted to Belden Larkin Funeral Home.
PETER D. BURGESS 1961
Cullum No. 23665-1961 | July 12, 2018 | Died in Leavenworth, KS
Interred in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, KS
Dwight Burgess was born October 29, 1939 in Cambridge, MA. He enjoyed his home
in East Longmeadow, MA, which included an apple orchard and a self-made
ice-skating rink. There, he perfected his skills as an ice hockey player. His
summers were spent at the family home in Niantic, CT at Giants Neck Beach, where
he and his father built a boat. Pete, his father, and a friend sailed the coast
from Connecticut to Maine. Pete loved the shore and often wondered how he ended
up in landlocked Kansas.
Following graduation from Technical High School, he received a full college
scholarship from Rand McNally, an appointment by John F. Kennedy to the Air
Force Academy, and an appointment by U.S. Representative Edward Boland to West
Point. His father, Albert Burgess, had served valiantly in World War II with an
armored division. Pete learned the meaning of patriotism from his dad.
Patriotism was so important to him that he chose West Point and the Army as the
finest means to advance his desire to serve America in an honorable capacity.
After graduation, Pete earned Airborne and Ranger badges. He served several
tours in Germany. On one return to the States, he and fellow officers were
offered first class accommodations aboard the SS United States ocean liner.
These accommodations had been reserved for general officers but were going
unused. This treat included first class dining seating and a table next to the
Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who ordered a bottle of champagne for the young
officers. Pete served three tours in Vietnam, where he was awarded seven Bronze
Stars for valor.
On his return to the States after his second tour, he became an instructor of
ROTC at the Ohio State University during the turmoil years of Vietnam protests.
Here, he faced thrown eggs, harassment and an attempt by war protestors to burn
down the ROTC building. Pete was in charge the night Ohio State protestors,
wielding burning torches, approached the building. He took the guns out of the
hands of nervous National Guard members and replaced them with baseball bats,
thus averting a deadly incident.
It was at Ohio State that he met his wife, Debby, who had been assigned to
interview Vietnam returnees for local newspapers and gather their opinion of the
Red Cross in Vietnam. After three months, he proposed to Debby, whose father was
United States Attorney of the Southern District of Ohio. The wedding was a
social event in Columbus, OH. There were over 400 distinguished guests and a few
friends of Pete and Debby. Pete had the last word though. With his best man, his
brother, Bill, serving in the Navy and the wedding taking place on Game Day,
November 30, 1968, Pete controlled the timing of the wedding nuptials so that,
with a television in the room of the groomsmen, the nuptials were conducted
during the half-time of the Army-Navy Game. Army won, 21-14.
Pete attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. His
tablemate was Japanese Colonel Miki Kugga, who eventually became a three-star
general of intelligence in Japan. General Kugga returned to Fort Leavenworth
several years later to be inducted into the CGSC International Hall of Fame. At
that time, he hosted a dinner for Pete to honor him, as Pete and his wife,
Debby, had treated Miki as family and best friend.
Pete’s academic accomplishments were numerous. He earned a Master of Military
Arts and Science, a Master of Science from the American Technological University
of Texas, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri.
Upon retirement Pete established the Burgess and Johnson real estate appraisers
and, for over 20 years, occupied an office in Kansas City, MO with an
outstanding view of the Missouri River. Pete earned the highest professional
recognition when he completed the requirements to be an MAI appraiser. He used
his skills to appraise everything from abandoned hospitals to large business
buildings, shopping centers, and even “The Edge of Heft,” a Halloween haunted
house under the Broadway Bridge. He loved this work; he saw each appraisal as a
large puzzle. Even working to his last breath, he requested a telephone number
of a client minutes before he died. One distinction of which he was very proud
was being selected to be a national “judge” of other appraisers attempting to
achieve the MAI designation and mentoring them as they tackled this arduous
He was a member of the Kansas City Rotary #13 Club, a member of the Kansas City
Club, and a member of the Sewing Circle and Owls Club. The Memorial Chapel at
Fort Leavenworth was his church home. A great passion was building classic
vintage cars (body, motor, and axle), and he could be seen driving around in his
red MG or white Austin Healey. He assisted in helping change the lives of young
adult offenders in the community. He is remembered as treating them with respect
and accepting them as friends, and, in return, several became successes and were
in attendance at his funeral.
Peter and Debby’s only child, Elizabeth, earned a master’s degree in business,
cum laude, at the University of Kansas. Besides his wife, Debby; his daughter,
Elizabeth; his son-in-law, Justin Swisher; and his 4-year-old granddaughter,
Camille; Pete is survived by his sister, Mary, and brother, Bill, in San Diego,