He was born Oct.. 21, 1914 in Youngstown, Alberta, Canada. He moved with his family to the Portland area where he attended Columbia Prep High School. He graduated from the University of Oregon in the late `30s where he received a master's degree in secondary education. He then went on to receive a doctorate from the University of Portland.
During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy. He married Margaret (Margo) Van Matre of Bend in 1941.
Mr. Burgess' entire career was spent in education, teaching and coaching, first in Maupin and then in Tillamook. He became vice principal of Bend High School and then principal of Crook County High School in Prineville. After 10 years in Prineville he left to become the first principal of Gresham's Centennial High School in 1959. He joined the staff of Mt. Hood Community College as Dean of Students and retired in 1977 as Director of Financial Aid. Mr. and Mrs. Burgess lived in the Summerfield community in Tigard for 24 years.
Mr. Burgess has served as president of the Oregon Education Association, Gresham Rotary Club, Prineville Lions Club, and Summerfield Civic Association. He was Exhaled Ruler of Prineville Elks.
He was active in the Episcopal Church his entire life, serving in positions ranging from alter boy to senior vestry.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman and later developed a passion for golf.
In addition to his wife Margo of Summerfield, survivors include sons Larry of Tualatin, Steve of Portland and Phil of Lake Oswego; daughter Sally of Madison, Wisconsin; 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held Wednesday in Lake Oswego.
Donations in memory of Wilfred Burgess may be sent to a charity of one's choice or to St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 3161, Tualatin 97062.