Karl J. Burgess


Karl John Burgess died peacefully at his home in Aquinnah at the age of 78 on April 29, 2014 after a lengthy illness.

Karl was born November 29, 1935 in New Bedford. He was the son of the late Thomas and Marion (Stoll) Burgess. He was also preceded in death by his brother Thomas W. Burgess.

He was a graduate of the Holy Family High School class of 1955 and continued studies at Boston College where he graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing.

Sports were a large part of Karl’s formative years.  In 1952, Karl was a starting pitcher in his freshman season at Holy Family and received many accolades in baseball and basketball.  In the summer of 1958, Karl was a standout pitcher with the James P. Murphy Memorial team that won the City League, Old Colony League, and Tri-State championships. While his team was participating in the State Semi-Pro Tournament in Haverhill, Karl’s efforts caught the eye of the Red Sox scout. Karl was contacted by the Red Sox and a tryout was arranged at Fenway Park. He was a real prospect. Karl stopped playing baseball after college, but his love for competitive sports never waned.

Karl’s professional career was spent at several organizations, including Sylvania, IBM, Addresso-Graph Multi-Graph, and ITT Grinnell and working years at Motorola Inc., where he retired from his position of Elected-Vice President of Communications. In 1993 he retired from Motorola after 16 years to his home on Martha’s Vineyard.

Karl was a communicant of St. James Church. He was a lifetime fan of the Boston Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and the New England Patriots. He was also an avid reader, golfer, and sailor.  He spent much of his boyhood boating in and around Martha’s Vineyard with his uncle Captain Bill Barlow who was a huge influence in his early years. He was a devoted husband and loving father and could be found many a weekend driving around New England for horse shows or attending the gymnastics meets of his daughters.

Karl is survived by his wife, Patricia (Taylor), and his four daughters, Kathleen Manning and her husband, Robert, Kristin Burgess Clarke, Kerin Mase and her husband, James, Patricia Lachance and her husband, Dominique. His grandchildren include Karla (Manning) Rosenfield, Karl and Katherine Clarke, Dominic and Taylor Lachance, and Cyrus Mase; he also had two great-grandchildren, Dustin Rosenfield and Avangaliene Hilchey.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 9 at 10 am at Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Church on 233 County Street in New Bedford.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or Brigham and Women’s Hospital Development Office, 116 Huntington Ave, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116.

Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and further information.