In Memoriam

Stanley Hugh Burgess, II
May 12, 1946 - July 10, 2019

Hugh Burgess was interred with military honors at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, California, on August 12, 2019, alongside the graves of his parents and older brother, with beloved family and friends attending.

Whenever God, your parents and the inescapable randomness of human DNA give you to start with, most of life is about choices. As American involvement in Vietnam became increasingly unpopular, Lynwood High School's popular swimmer, surfer and school play star "Huey Bop" (voted "Most Talkative") chose to compete for appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. He won.

While his chosen major was Civil Engineering, he also did comprehensive study of fine arts. Believing that one of the most important characteristics for a cadet or officer is “Initiative” (and to help pay the high cost of maintaining the new Corvette he chose to buy with his car loan), for only $50 this natural artist could take a wallet photo of your girlfriend and, on the dresser of his Vandenberg Hall room, paint a beautiful frameable portrait.

Low-key and calm when other cadets might be in a panic or tripping over their egos, Hugh had the confidence to choose the bright side--and the brains, empathy and sense of humor to find a way to really help others. He was a guy you could depend on. His good ideas and easy laugh helped you--and underclassmen who respected him but didn’t fear him--get through the toughest days. But almost shy and never bragging, you just didn’t hear much about his own successes--as a cadet, and later in life. Hugh chose to just take care of stuff.

Following graduation and pilot training at Laredo AFB, TX, where he picked-up the call sign “Flibbet” and learned that Texas hail can turn your convertible top into an air conditioner, Hugh flew C-141s out of McGuire AFB, and then C-130s out of Clark AB into Vietnam 69-70, and then out of Langley AFB. Among these adventures, he earned a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Force MSM, 4 Air Medals, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

After Hugh departed active duty in 1973, his pilot, artistic and management skills--combined with a love of travel--led to a colorful set of careers that included (1) pilot for Saturn Airways…pilot for ARAMCO, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia…and Captain for Hawaiian Airlines, including flying the DC-10, as well as (2) owner of Burgess & Co. Art, San Francisco…Management Ops Supervisor, McDonald Corp, San Francisco…Real Estate Investment Associate, Langley Tackes, San Francisco…Real Estate Investment Associate, Merrill Lynch, Ventura, CA…and Commercial Division Manager, Bob Crane & Associates, Los Angeles.

Hugh enjoyed his years in the house he had built in Hawaii so much that, at his memorial service, members of the family wore Hawaiian clothes and his favorite island music even included a ukulele player. Conversations were about his devotion to family and his fun-loving personality, including many pranks recalled by high school friends, often involving his little AMC Metropolitan convertible. In later years, now a jet pilot, Hugh appropriately moved up to a head-turning 18.8-ft Pontiac Bonneville convertible.

Hugh Burgess was a classmate to be proud of, a friend you were glad to depend on, and a creative, artistic guy who chose to live a life full of variety, fun, and good friends. God bless and keep you, Hugh.                             (Bill Eckert and other classmates)

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