Gloucester — Valdor L. Burgess, Sr., 84, of Cleveland Place died Sunday afternoon, July 15, 2012. He was the husband of Helen J. (Clooney) Burgess.
Born in Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, Canada on May 5, 1928, he was the son of the late Reginal and Lillian (Dory) Burgess. At the age of eight, he came to Gloucester and had attended Gloucester public schools.
In his early years, he fished out of Boston with his father for General Seafoods aboard the f/v Yale and Amherst among others. He later worked as a fish cutter at numerous plants along the Gloucester waterfront, including Fabet’s and as a foreman for Empire Fish.
To say he was an avid outdoorsman would be understating his love of the natural world. Every year Val summered Down Maine, where he grew hollyhocks and asparagus, among other things. Based on his hunting, gardening and cooking abilities, he could easily live off the land. He had great respect for all animals and was especially devoted to his dogs, which were not only his companions, but his ears as well.
Family and friends were blessed to spend time at his camp, where they swam, picked blueberries, looked for deer each evening, and enjoyed eating the wonderful food he cooked on the old wood stove. His talent for working with wood was so great he could take a piece of oak and turn it into a custom gun stock.
Due to the times, he lacked a formal education; however was a voracious reader and self-taught history buff. He especially reveled in his ancestral heritage from Nova Scotia and the history of the Schooner Blue Nose. He played chess, with few victorious challengers, and loved classical music, as well as Nate King Cole. He was a special man, who mastered every endeavor he pursued, and he will be greatly missed.
In addition to his wife of sixty-four years, he is survived by his children, Valerie, wife of Ernest Sadler, Beverly, wife of Ronald Horvitz, Valdor L., Jr., husband of Karen Sue (Moore) Burgess, and Linda, wife of Michael Lasley; nine grandchildren, Melanie, wife of Tom Johnson, Andrea Sadler, Joy, wife of Ben James, Jennifer Thornton, Kenneth J. Taylor, Jr., Aron M., husband of Mandy Burgess, Eric L., husband of Jessica Burgess, Derek, husband of Karen Reed, and Joshua Mederios; sixteen great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by two grandsons, Ryan S. Burgess and Damon Lasley; three sisters and three brothers.
ARRANGEMENTS: A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday morning at the North Shore Bible Church, 65 Eastern Avenue, Essex at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend. There are no visiting hours. Prayers of committal will be held privately in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to the Cape Ann Animal Aid, 260 Main St., Gloucester, MA 01930. Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Grondin Funeral Home, 61 Middle Street, Gloucester. For further information and online condolences, please visit www.grondinfuneralservices.com.