Mike Burgess

Mike Burgess passed away on September 10 at the age of 69. If you didn’t know him, he was that guy with the easy smile and friendly demeanor. If you did know him, you knew he had abundant stories, looked you in the eye when speaking to you, and would lend a hand any time you needed it. 

He had deep roots in this region, growing up in Hartwick, moving away only briefly for a little bit of military service, a little bit of college, and then to live with his wife Karen in her hometown in Long Island before they settled in Hartwick permanently in 1983. They made the red house by the creek a wonderful home for their family over the next 40 years. He was a man with a slew of practical skills and wide experiential knowledge. Over the years, he lent his carpentry skills to many buildings and homes in the area as a freelance carpenter or as part of the union. After retirement, you could often find him in his woodshop, and he would always welcome you in for a chat over a beer. He adored his labradoodles Bert and Murphy and loved nothing more than a glass of bourbon by a big bonfire, dogs by his side. Well, maybe bad sci-fi films and dime novels, which he voraciously consumed. He greeted everyone on the street with a hello or a wave, whether he knew them or not, whether driving down County Route 11 in Hartwick or riding the crosstown bus in Manhattan (much to the confusion and/or delight of New York City bus riders).

He is survived by his three daughters and their spouses, Heather and Justin, Rebecca and John, and Kari and Jeff; his grandchildren Noah, Jasiah, and Amelia; his mother-in-law Barbara, his sister-in-law Debra, and his brother-in-law Stephen; his nieces and nephews Jennifer, Joshua, Stephen, Jackie, Erica, Gene, and Joey, and their children and their families who fondly remember “Uncle Muck.” He was predeceased by his wife Karen, his mother Sieglind, his father Lynn, his brother Frederic, and his father-in-law Eugene. His legacy of hard work, loyalty, and respect for others will continue with those he leaves behind. 

Calling hours will be held Saturday, September 30, from 5–7 pm at Connell Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home at 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to Susquehanna SPCA, the ASPCA, or a local animal rescue organization of your choice. 

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.