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Peter D. Burgess

Company F-1

23 Oct 1939 - 12 Jul 2018

Place of Death: Leavenworth, KS

Interment: Leavenworth National Cemetery

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 communities. 

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.


Peter Dwight 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 Cancer.

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.

On his 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.

He 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 nephews.

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.