James Thomas Burgess, 1927-2013, of North Kingstown, formerly of Orleans, Sudbury, and Wellesley, Mass., was the adored and devoted husband of Jean Mueller-Burgess.
He survived the mother of his children, the late Ruth Derby Burgess. He was the exceptional and respected father of children, Wendy Burgess of Baltimore, Md., Lauren Jones of Orleans, Mass., Gregg Burgess of Dallas, Tx., and Brett Burgess of Franklin, Mass.
He leaves his sisters, Betty Parsons of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, and Johanne Burgess of Wellesley, Mass., seven grandchildren and four step children.
At Wellesley High School, his dedication to sports and music included being a cheerleader with his wife, Jean, and a soloist in choral concerts. His powerful baritone voice joined in the Bowdoin College Medibumstsers in an a cappella group to entertain U.S. occupation troops in post-war Germany. Two years in the US Navy delayed college, but he graduated from Bowdoin with a BA in political science, U.S. history and radio broadcasting.
A charming, gracious, intelligent personality won him many friends, supporters and elected positions in college and business. In the 38 years he devoted to the insurance industry, his inspiring leadership abilities awarded him top responsibilities in the Hancock and Metropolitan Insurance companies.
His selfless, compassionate attention to his family and their every need is reflected in the extensive support for U.S. Scouting , recording for the blind, Visiting Nurse Association, libraries, theater groups, tutoring English, phoning for FISH and forming in a jazz a cappella group, the Noteables, in Orleans, Mass.
This exceptional human being made his place in the world a beautiful, jolly haven. For his family, he taught the necessities of life, love, respect, honesty, the joy of life and mutual support for everyone. Our family is eternally grateful to God for giving him to us for all these years. We will have a private memorial and internment at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Wellesley.
Donations in honor of James T. Burgess to your favorite charity, or to the Alzheimer's Society of R.I., would be his fondest desire. We thank you.