On Saturday, April 3, family and friends of Dr. James and Myra Burgess attended a drive-thru celebration honoring the couple. The family celebrated two events, Dr. Burgess’ 90th birthday, and the couple’s 70th Anniversary.
The celebration, which was held at Bell Park in Greenwood, also honored the couple for their deep commitment and love for this community.
In 1951, James and Myra Burgess, ages 18 and 20, were united in marriage. The couple married in Excelsior, alongside two of their lifelong friends, Bo and Arville Stallings.
James Burgess went into the service and was stationed in South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina within their first few years of marriage. Later, he would attend the University of Arkansas and ultimately be accepted into the University of Missouri School of Dentistry. After graduating and receiving his D.D.S. degree, the couple left Kansas City and returned to Greenwood.
It was here Dr. Burgess would build a dental practice, and ultimately a legacy. “Greenwood has always been home to them, and they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” shared their daughter, Suzanne Burgess Wilson.
Dr. Burgess has served the community over the years as President of the Chamber of Commerce, Trustee on the Westark and UAFS College Board, as a member of the Degan Foundation Board (founders of ARCOM), and the State Pharmacy Board. Additionally, he has provided services at the Community Dental Clinic and served as a liaison to Governor Frank White.
As most people will attest, behind every good man is an even better woman. Myra Burgess has been a devoted wife, working alongside her husband as he built his dental practice. She has spent a lifetime assisting with community events, and perhaps her greatest work, raising children and grandchildren.
As active members of Northside Church of Christ, the couple are the epitome of goodness. Their charitable work has included opening their home to at least seven young teens who have needed assistance over the years.
The couple have four children, Rozanne Burgess Sterling, Trey Burgess, Dane Burgess, and Suzanne Burgess Wilson; two sons-in-law, Mark Sterling, and Don Wilson; a daughter-in-law, Tara Burgess; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Dr. James Burgess will turn 90 on Tuesday, April 13. The couple will celebrate 70 years of marriage on Thursday, May 27.
The large community turnout is proof that the Burgesses are one of the most beloved families in this area. For all they do, and all they have done, we say thank you. You fill our hearts with gratitude and inspire us all to be better human beings!