Joseph Abel Burgess, 89, of Whitewater, passed away on September 17, 2012 at his home surrounded by family.
He was born on September 19, 1922 in Modoc, Indiana, to the late John Manning and Doris (Abel) Burgess. Joe graduated from Whitewater High School in 1941, attended Central Normal College until he enlisted in the United States Marines in 1942. He fought and served with The Old Breed (A11) in the South Pacific. His First Marine Division was awarded Presidential Unit Citations for action on Guadalcanal and Peleliu. He was in the Army Reserves here in Richmond for 20 years, retiring in 1965. He worked for the United States Post Office until retirement in 1985. He also raised cattle on the family farm.
Joe was a member for many years at the Whitewater United Methodist Church, and in more recent years at Fountain City Wesleyan Church. He was a respected member of the Whitewater community, a life-long supporter of 4-H and many charities.
He will be greatly missed by his wife of 67 years, Doris June (Graves) Burgess; his sons David (Roxy), and Anthony (Vikki); his son-in-law Mike Roll; 7 grandchildren: Jeff (Shawnna) Roll, Jeremy (Staci) Roll, Joseph (Sherry) Burgess, Sarah (Dirk) Van Essendelft, Robert (Susie) Burgess, John Burgess, and Stephen Roll; 8 great grandchildren: Rachel, Michael and Emily Burgess, Brandon, Eli, Alli, JJ and Alaina Roll; 4 siblings: Pat (Richard) France, John Pierre (Audrey) Burgess, Barbara Hunt, Jane Schneider (Del) Braund; numerous nephews and nieces, friends and other family members.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Debra Roll.
Services will be at the Fountain City Wesleyan Church on Thursday, September 20 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Keith Vincent officiating. Friends and family may call at the Smith-McQuiston Funeral home in Fountain City from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19th. Burial will be in the Whitewater Cemetery where Joe served as caretaker for many decades. Military graveside honors will be conducted.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fountain City Wesleyan Church High School Youth Department.