Gary Burgess

Obituary of Gary Burgess

Gary Burgess was born on January 19, 1966. He grew up in Metzger, Oregon, and graduated from Tigard High School. While still in high school, Gary joined the U.S. Army Reserves, 25th Infantry Division, enlisting for six years. In 1987 he became the loving father to his daughter, Shereena. Gary was a general contractor by profession, starting out as head of maintenance at Woodlake and Columbia Pointe Apartments and then opening his own business, Hard Hat Handyman, in 1997. He was known as a hardworking, honest, and reliable businessman. In 2006 Gary met his life partner of 17 years, Maria. He enjoyed traveling to the Philippines with her to spend time with their family. In 2021, Gary was blessed with his granddaughter, Freya. He loved every moment with her and got a kick out of being goofy to get her to laugh. He absolutely adored being a grandpa. Throughout his life, Gary enjoyed many activities such as woodworking, crabbing, clamming, fishing, camping, gardening, target shooting, league bowling, and watching sports (especially the Super Bowl). He also enjoyed collecting old coins, handguns, and antique fishing lures. Gary was known for his fishing yard sales. He became an expert at refurbishing old fishing gear and hand making his own fish lures to sell at his sales. He made many friends in the community through this hobby. Gary also completed 12 volunteer playground installations for Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District and the Oregon Recreation and Park Association. On April 11, 2023, at the age of 57, Gary passed away after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by loved ones. Gary will always be remembered for his kind heart, willingness to help others, hilarious sense of humor, amazing creativity, contagious smile (which Shereena and Freya inherited), kindness towards wildlife (especially birds), ability to make people laugh, and devotion to helping his parents in their final years of life. Gary loved his friends and family more than anything in this world. Spending time with them and making sure they knew how much he loved them was very important to him. Gary is survived by his loving wife, Maria Kravitz; his daughter, Shereena Johnston, and granddaughter, Freya Johnston; his siblings: Sandi (Burgess) Botten-Dean, Sheila (Burgess) St Clair, Jerry Burgess, and Shawn Burgess; as well as many nieces and nephews, including many “adopted-by-the-heart” nieces and nephews in the Philippines. A celebration of life will be held at Old Town Church (2224 15th Avenue, Forest Grove, OR 97116) on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 11am. All family, friends (current and old), and anyone whose heart was touched by Gary, are welcome to attend. We are hoping to collect memories of Gary for his granddaughter, so we would love you to come, even if you haven’t seen Gary for many years, but have fond memories of him to share.
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Celebration of Life

11:00 am
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Old Town Church
2224 15th Avenue
Forest Grove, Oregon, United States
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