HANFORD BAY: Linda K. Burgess, 73, of Hanford Bay & Jamestown died Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, following a recent illness. Linda was born in Hornell, NY on June 15, 1950, the daughter of the late Eugene and Jeannette (Stephens) Burgess, Sr.
She grew up in Hanford Bay, Silver Creek in a family of six kids. Her father was Director of Guidance at the High School until his retirement in 1983. Her mother also taught and was a gifted pastel artist.
Linda was a graduate of Silver Creek Central School, Class of 1968. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree with High Honors from SUNY @ Buffalo State and while working full time, completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling from St. Bonaventure University.
Linda was an avid swimmer and as a young woman, was the summer lifeguard at the Town of Hanover Beach in Sunset Bay. She managed the Silver Creek High School Food Service for a few years and taught GED classes prior to joining the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services. As a Senior Supervisor in Child Protective Services, she found her calling in a distinguished long career (35+ years). She was an advocate for children and families in trouble, as well as for her coworkers.
At age 47, Linda was diagnosed with deadly esophageal cancer. She was determined to survive and put up with a painful, lengthy recovery following aggressive surgeries. She was one of the longest survivors, and dealt for 26 years with the side effects of those lifesaving treatments. Although her Cleveland Clinic surgeon urged her to take full disability retirement from a stressful, exhausting, and often dangerous job, Linda instead returned to work. “In our lifetime, every one of us has a chance to save someone else,” she explained. “In my job, I get a chance every day.”
Her case workers put it well for so many others: “Linda was one of a kind. She was the best supervisor and always had your back. Everyone who worked for the county knew her to be a stickler for details. She created hands down the most caring, compassionate, and detail orientated caseworkers. Her high standard of work can be seen even now through those she trained. She never wavered in her steadfast determination to do and have done what she believed was right.”
Linda loved to read and supported the Anderson-Lee Library with frequent new book purchases. She was a member of the local garden club and the Hanford Baykeepers. She loved flowers, gardening, sunsets, her pets, the performing arts and Christmas–or any reason whatsoever to give the perfect gifts. She was the best gift-giver. Her thoughtful generosity extended outside her usual circle of family & friends to people she met who needed help, understanding, a warm meal, or a ride to medical appointments. Linda’s passing is a heartfelt loss, especially for her family and close friends.
Survivors include her dear cats; Teddie, Maddie and Kayllie, two sisters, Ann (Gary) Conklin, of Sayville, NY; Julie (Paul Sabrosky) Burgess, of Traverse City, MI; two brothers, Stephen (Peggy) Burgess, of Plano, TX; Joseph (Sheila) Burgess, of Cumberland, RI, sister-in-law Carol Burgess of Westport, CT and extended family member Roque da Cunha Ferreira (AFS brother) of Lisbon, Portugal. Also surviving are eleven much loved nieces & nephews; Kirsten, Kimberly, Kathy, Meredith, Jenny, Laura, Patty, Samantha, Geoffrey, Brian and John along with their spouses & children. Besides her parents she was predeceased by her brother Eugene Burgess, Jr.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, November 11th at 10:30am from Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, 39 Main Street, Forestville, with Rev. Daniel Fiebelkorn, officiating. A luncheon will immediately follow at St. Rose of Lima Hall, Center Street, Forestville. Private Interment will be in Evergreen Lawn Cemetery, Town of Hanover.
The family suggests memorials may be made to Anderson-Lee Library, 43 Main Street, Silver Creek, NY 14136. To post condolences or memories go to www.rilesandwoolleyfuneralhome.com.