Chester Warren Burgess, 99, died peacefully in his sleep with family by his side Wednesday, July 7, 2021. Chet was born in Washington DC to the late Warren and Maurine Burgess on May 13, 1922.
In September 1943, Chet was assigned to the USS Southerland DD-743 (Sumner Class). They set sail for General Halsey’s fleet in the Ulithi Atoll. From Ulithi, they proceeded to the coasts of Japan. At the end of the war, Chet’s ship led the fleet into Tokyo Bay for the armistice ceremony.
Chet met the love of his life, Elizabeth (Betty), at the University of Maryland soon after his service in WWII. After graduating, they married on September 16, 1950 and lived in Silver Spring for several years. Chet worked for IBM, servicing card accounting machines housed in the temporary wartime wooden buildings on the DC Mall. As IBM expanded, they moved to Wappingers Falls, NY where they raised Peggy (Mark), Sue (deceased in 1993), Tom (Jan), and Kathy (Bob). A 6-month transfer in 1965 to help establish a new IBM lab in Boulder brought weekend family adventures to the mountains and National Parks of the west.
In retirement, Betty and Chet enjoyed living in Neeld Estate, MD and at Friends Lake in Chestertown, NY; regular visits with grandchildren Will, Jenn, Richie, and Ian; building their timber frame home; Emmanuel Church, traveling adventures, sailing on the beautiful Chesapeake, and their time at Asbury Solomons. Betty passed away at age 92 on June 15, 2019.
Chet was the energizer bunny. All who knew him remarked of his never-ending capacity for work, can-do attitude, kind heart, and faithful service. As recently as August 2020, he was regularly seen repairing cars, maintaining church buildings, building for Habitat, and enjoying the great outdoors on a bike or in a boat. Even during his last few months, Chet brought joy through the halls of Asbury, greeting community members in his dapper bowtie, making new friends, and showing off pictures of his great grandbaby, Raelyn Elizabeth, born February 12th.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Chet's honor can be made to:
Emmanuel United Methodist Church
1250 Emmanuel Church Road
Huntingtown, Maryland 20639
Patuxent Habitat for Humanity
PO BOX 452
Lexington Park, MD 20653
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Please visit www.alexanderfh.net for online guest book and condolences.