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Nathan Wilcox Burgess (Sarge)
First Sergeant, U.S. Army Retired
Nathan Burgess, 90, died Monday June 11, 2018 at Maine Medical Center.
Nathan was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine the son of Frederick and Edna Burgess. Nathan grew up in the Libby Town area of Portland where he was known by friends and family as Binky, a name given for his ringing the bell of the Portland street trolley being operated by his father. Nathan joined the Army at age 17 and served honorably for 20 years. Nathan’s service included tours in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. During the Korean War, Nathan served as a combat engineer building pontoon bridges to facilitate movement by Marine units during the Chosin Reservoir battle. At the onset of the Vietnam War, Nathan helped develop and train in air mobile operations and deployed with his field artillery battery via helicopter into Vietnam. Subsequent to his Army career, Nathan took a job with the State of Maine and became the Supervisor of Transportation and Grounds for Pineland Center in Pownal before retiring after 25 years.
Nathan will be remembered for his love of country, strong will, significant generosity and for his love of family and friends. Nathan is affectionately known by most in Gray as Sarge. Sarge’s friendships are akin to an extended family and include the morning crew and friends at MacDonald’s, the lunch crew and friends at Jess & Nicks, and to the staff and fellow members of the American Legion. Nathan was honored by the Legion during the Memorial Day Celebration in 2015.
Nathan married Marie May Gervais on November 22, 1952 and remained her loyal husband for 47 years until her passing in 1999. Surviving Nathan are his two daughters Debra Johnson and Linda Liberty both of Harrison, son Steve Burgess of Jackman, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Nathan’s love of friends was seconded only by his love and dedication to his family.
A graveside service will be held 11a.m. Monday June 18, at the Gray Cemetery followed by a celebration of life at the American Legion in Gray located at 15 Lewiston Road, Gray . In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to the American Legion to help fund a memorial wall to commemorate fallen members. Mail contributions to: Gray Post 86 American Legion, P.O. Box 428, Gray, Maine 04039