Frank Willis Burgess

July 11, 1920 – November 12, 2019
Our father passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family. Throughout our lives he was our guiding force.
Frank was predeceased by his wife Norma on Sept 21, 2019, survived by his daughters Louise Burgess (Stan MacLean), Wendy Johansen (Larry), Bonnie Griffith (Lloyd), eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Frank was born in Drumheller, Alberta the sixth of eight children. As a teenager during the depression of the 1930’s he landed his first job delivering newspapers. During the bitter prairie winter months while waiting for the bundles to arrive, he’d stay warm in the nearby pool hall. Pool and golf were his passions and he played them both to the end of his life.
“It looked like we were going to lose Britain so in early 1942 I joined the RAF (British Royal Air Force).” At the age of 22 he took his pilot’s training in Saskatchewan and Manitoba before being stationed in England in 1943. He flew a variety of bombers including the de Havilland Mosquito and the Halifax but his principal aircraft was the seven-crew Lancaster. In this aircraft he completed 29 bombing missions over Germany – his 30th mission was waived in recognition of his being the first pilot in Squadron 61 to survive 29 missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the Governor General for completing a mission while the aircraft had lost one of its four engines.
Following the war, he returned to work in the assay office at Copper Mountain mine outside of Princeton, BC where he met Norma Bartley, his lifelong companion. They married in 1950. Heading north with intent to join logging operations in the Smithers area they stopped over in Williams Lake and never left. They started a mechanical company to meet the housing and infrastructure demand of the growing town, eventually incorporating to become Burgess Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Co Ltd.
Frank believed in hard work and integrity. He was honest to a fault, unfailingly kind, meticulous, stubborn, and endlessly endearing to his friends and family. We will miss him more than words can say.
A Celebration of Life for both Frank and Norma will be announced at a later date.


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