Earl L. Burgess Jr., 74, of Belpre, Ohio, passed away Dec. 7, 2012, at Cleveland Clinic.
Mr. Burgess was born in Beckley, W.Va., on Sept. 6, 1938, to Earl L. Burgess Sr. and Pauline Barton Burgess. Earl was their only child.
Mr. Burgess was a former resident of Cannelton, W.Va., attended West Virginia Institute of Technology in Montgomery and graduated from Morris Harvey College in Charleston (University of Charleston), with a B.S. degree in 1962.
From 1962, until his retirement in 2000, Mr. Burgess dedicated his career to the pursuit of improving the health care and lives of all West Virginians in his role with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. During his tenure, Earl worked with many organizations and associations in his profession, and held various offices in many of those. Mr. Burgess was presented the John R. Cooper award, and was elected by his peers to the West Virginia Public Health Hall of Fame. Upon his retirement, Earl was honored by Governor Cecil Underwood as a Distinguished West Virginia.
Mr. Burgess was a Christian and believed confidently in salvation by grace, through faith in the atoning sacrifice of his Savior Jesus Christ. Earl was a member of Belpre Church of Christ and Gideons International. Since becoming a Christian, Earl considered himself a winner either way, whether during surgery he would wake up hearing Angels singing, or would return home to his loving wife and church family. In 2008, Earl heard "The Inspirations" sing a song entitled "I'm a Winner Either Way" and this became his favorite song.
Mr. Burgess is survived by his wife, Ashley Lucille Burgess; three loved stepsons, Jeffrey Burch of Columbus, Ohio, Russell (Carmen) Burch of Billings, Mont., and Brian (Jennifer) Burch of Phoenix, Ariz.; four granddaughters, Brittany, Gretchen and Morgan of Phoenix, Ariz., and Carlena of Billings, Mont. Earl very much enjoyed hunting and fishing with his stepsons.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Gene Ellen Kincaid Burgess.
Services will be 7 p.m. Tuesday at Belpre Church of Christ, Belpre, Ohio, with Ron Laughery and Jeff Stevenson officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Mr. Burgess to Belpre Church of Christ or Gideons International.
Leavitt Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.leavittfuneralhome.com