Travis Burgess, of Kewanee, Illinois, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 28, 2021, in Richardson, TX.
He was born on May 8, 1930, in Palmetto, MS to the union of Clyde Burgess and Mary (Warren) Burgess. Travis was a life-long citizen in the community of Kewanee, IL, where he was known and loved by many.
In his early years, while raising his young family, he lived in the Quad-Cities area and was employed by John Deere. Later, in the early 1960’s he moved his family to Kewanee, IL. There he would become a faithful and loyal employee of Walworth Companies; one of the largest producers of valves and fittings made of steel, iron, and brass. These valves and fittings were used to control steam, water, oil, and gas. During his tenure, Travis was known to be one of the best at his trade; in today’s terms, he was considered a SME (Subject Matter Expert) of turning out hot molds in that foundry. He remained faithful to the task, through laborious, risky, and unsafe conditions for the welfare of his family, until the doors closed on that facility in 1978.
Knowing his plight financially, Travis immediately pivoted, not allowing the misfortune to stop him, but found other suitable work to keep from interrupting the flow of financial sustenance for his wife and six children - not to mention others who would call on him for help. Subsequently, he was employed by Hyster Tractor company, Hennepin Steel along with other entrepreneurial ventures, including T&R Tire-mounting Service, Battery Recycling Service, and Landscaping Services.
The irony of the man, Travis Burgess, is he never stopped working. His life was “a work”. While he took care of the family’s financial responsibilities, he never failed to make time for annual family vacations: California, Canada, Colorado, Las Vegas, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, & Washington, DC, to name a few. He worked to keep a roof over the heads of his beloved family; he worked to help others in their time of need; he worked at mentoring and being an example; he worked to see others have a better lease on life.
Young or old, it did not matter, He worked at BEING and doing synonymously; as the saying goes, “One must BE before one can do”. He did fulfill this and even according to scripture: Matthew: 5:15-16 – Let your life so shine Before men, that they may SEE your good works and glorify the Father which is in Heaven. Dad never “talked about” being a Christian, rather we witnessed his spiritual, very deep relationship with Christ his Creator.
It can be said his ministry, if titled, was the Ministry of Love. Our father was a lover of people and however he could help he would be found doing so. He was God’s instrument in bringing unity amongst community. In fact, one telling example would be his custom automotive detail service which he employed the neighborhood children on weekends to wash, wax, and vacuum vehicles from the local Buick Dealership. This action would be instrumental in keeping young boys and girls occupied and out of trouble. He knew too well the perils of an idle mind – “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.
He had the temperament of the “good Samaritan” and his relationships were a mosaic of people from all walks of life. He was a well-traveled man with an insatiable love for cars and a meticulous eye for fashion. He lived a long and robust life and leaves to perpetuate his legacy:
Six children – Glenda Marie Burgess-Rockwall; TX, Michael Travis Burgess-Dallas, TX, Steven Karl & Kori Duval Butler Burgess – Longwood, FL; Yvette Marie Burgess- Brentwood, TN; Daniel Clyde & Kimberly Lynn Talton Burgess-Brentwood, TN; and Racquel Bernice Burgess-Rowlett, TX; Daughter-in-Love Theodosia (Tina) Faye Hinton Burgess-Tulsa, OK. Nine grandchildren – Michaela Dominique Burgess-Tulsa OK; Malachi Jacob & Eden Alexis McAllister Burgess- Los Angeles, CA; Daniel Louis & Austin Duval Burgess Cohen -Sanford FL; Brandan Jamal & Madeline Jane Maguire Burgess-Chicago, IL; Kayla Danielle Burgess-Nashville, TN; Caleb Matthew & Monica Faye Burgess Johnson-Jacksonville, FL; Blake Rashad & Necia Ran Knutzen Burgess-Murfreesboro, TN; MeChelle Naomi Burgess-Tulsa, OK; Madison Avery Burgess-Altamonte Springs, FL, and three great-grandchildren. Sister-in-Love Patricia Burgess; Moline, IL, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife (Ruth Naomi Allen Burgess), and two daughters (Sherry Lynn and Melissa Ruth). He was the last of the last, so they are all rejoicing together in glory.
“Life goes on and we should all strive to be the best we can be and live up to the Legacy that our parents have laid down for us.”
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 11 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Friday, September 10 at the funeral home. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery. The funeral home will maintain compliance with COVID regulations and requires that all guests wear a mask for the safety of all those attending.
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