First Responders 09

John O'Neill Burgess

March 8, 1947 ~ May 5, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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John O’Neill Burgess,76, of Charlotte, passed away in the company of beloved family members on May 5, 2023.   Born in New Kensington, PA. on March 8, 1947,  John was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Jean Burgess, brother Timothy Burgess and nephew Andrew (AJ)Jones.   He attended Leechburg,PA. schools and joined the Marines in February 1965. Mr. Burgess was honorably discharged in 1967.

He attended the University of Pittsburgh graduating in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice.   John was a Deputy Sheriff of Allegheny County, PA. and a graduate of the   Police Academy in Hershey, PA. and served the community of Mount  Lebanon, PA as a Police Officer for several years.

 In 1979 John moved to Wilkes-Barre,PA. first working for Wackenhut Security as part of the security detail protecting the newspaper publisher during one of the most violent newspaper strikes in   history. In 1981 he changed  career paths, starting at the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader Newspaper that would entail 15 years in the newspaper business. John met his “bride” Becky while both   working at the Times Leader Newspaper. John was employed at several midsize newspapers from the South to the Midwest and Northeast in various positions culminating in several newspaper Publisher positions prior to his retirement from the newspaper business in 1996.

  John and Becky moved to Charlotte in 1996 anticipating the arrival of their first grandchild. For the next 14 years John was employed by Equifirst Mortgage Company  and Bank of America     ending with his retirement in 2010.

Mr. Burgess had several passions over the years. One was boating. He received his Marine Captain’s license for commercial boats while living in Portage, Wisconsin. He and Becky enjoyed many years of boating on waters such as the Mississippi river, the Ohio river and the Hudson river.

Arriving in Charlotte John turned to his other passion, Harley Davidson Motorcycles. He loved  nothing more than getting on his motorcycle and letting the day unfold before him. John and Becky were members for many years with the Charlotte Harley Owners  Group.  John was also   involved with several other motorcycle organizations in the Charlotte area. John was also a lifetime member of the NRA.

 John is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 41 years Becky,   son, Christopher and his wife, Tara Burgess of Rock Hill, SC, his sister, Marybeth (Burgess)and husband, Dwight Mercer Fort Mill, SC, grandchildren, Lauren (Burgess)and husband, Dalton Helms of Charlotte, NC, grandson, Halen Burgess, of Fort Mill, SC; several nephews, nieces, great nephews, and great nieces  A family gathering will be held at a later date.

 Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, <>.   Carolina Funeral Services  &  Cremation Center, Charlotte, NC. is entrusted with the arrangements Condolences may be made online at

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