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William L. Burgess

William L. Burgess (Billy) was born in Columbus Ohio on March 8, 1949, to the late Lawrence E. and Mary Hart (O’Hara) Burgess. Billy started attending church at the age of 8 weeks. He was baptized at Trinity Baptist church under the leadership of Pastor E.A. Parham, where he was an active member of the BTU, the Youth Fellowship Program and the Youth Choir.

Billy attended and graduated from West High School, class of 1968. Billy was always independent and wanted to purchase his first car, so instead of joining after-school programs he took a job at Lazarus Auto Center.

On his 19th birthday, he received a draft notice from the U.S. Army, where he served honorably in the Vietnam War. During the war, he was pronounced deceased on two different occasions. A friend found him months later in the Vietnam Hospital and wrote a letter to the family informing them that Billy was in fact alive. Upon returning from the war, Billy taught martial arts through Parks and Recreation at various locations. He taught free self-defense classes to women and children.

Billy had a love of music, street art where he collected Walt Neil paintings, and exotic animals. He was a family-oriented man. He enjoyed large gatherings, cooking and grilling for his friends and family. Billy’s activities that he loved were chess, poker, bid whiz, and being an armchair coach of all sports.

Billy is preceded in death by his son, William L. Burgess Jr. and Reginald Smalls; parents, Lawrence and Mary Burgess; maternal grandmother, Maggie O’Hara; paternal grandparents, Boz Burgess and Emily J. Burgess; cousin, (best friend) Boyden Estice and favorite aunt Petressa O’Hara.

Billy leaves to cherish his memory daughters, Angel (Mark) Burnett, Eri’que (Travis) Arrington, Latasha (Quincey) Thurmond, Mary Wells, and Monique Faison; sons, Antwan Burgess, Brandon Russell, Lawrence Wells and Demetrius Smalls; brothers, Stephen Burgess and Kenneth (Annette) Shaw; sisters, Margaret (Burgess) Henderson, Alesia (Burgess) Walker, Doris (Billy) Taylor; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation 9:00 AM and Funeral Service 11:00 AM Saturday, December 16, 2023 at Trinity Baptist Church, 461 St Clair Ave.

Interment at Eastlawn Cemetery.

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