Charles F. Burgess

Charles F. Burgess

Dec. 5, 1952-Oct. 21, 2015

Charles Frank Burgess, 62, aka Chuck, Charlie, Chas and Dr. B, died peacefully at home on Oct. 21, 2015, in Homer, Alaska as a result of a brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme). 

He was diagnosed in July 2009 and was the first patient to enroll in a new clinical trial at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. In the summer of 2014 after several years in remission, he developed pre-leukemia and in spring 2015 the brain tumor recurred.

A memorial gathering will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Remember that Daylight Saving Time starts that morning and its “fall back” Sunday.

He was born in Grosse Pointe, Mich., on Dec. 5, 1952, to David E. and Marie (Hawley) Burgess. He graduated from Deveaux School, Niagara Falls, N.Y., in 1971. Chuck met his future wife, Elaine Urbon, in 1972 in a psychology class at Michigan State University. Both graduated and he continued at the University of Michigan, obtaining a masters in social work. After working eight years in this field, he decided to attend medical school and was accepted at Michigan State University, graduated in 1989 and completed his residency in psychiatry at Detroit Psychiatric Institute. Daughter Shelby was born prior to their move to Anchorage in 1993. He served in multiple positions as a psychiatrist at Providence Alaska Medical Center and also provided psychiatric care in Homer. In 2001 the family moved to Homer as Chuck assumed a full-time position at The Center, also known as South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services. He was an intelligent, compassionate, respectful professional, and worked endless hours serving his clients. During his free time, however, he embraced a plethora of activities, loved being on the waters of Alaska exploring, rafting, kayaking and fishing, scuba diving with his daughter in Hawaii and the Caribbean, home design and remodeling, listening to music, playing guitar and piano, and engaging in long conversations on politics, the environment and mental health issues.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters, Martha McGugin and Julie Ward.

His surviving siblings are David Burgess (and former wife Tina), Susan Getz and Mary Cummings, plus extended family, and life-long and Alaskan friends, too numerous to name but they know who they are.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. B may be made to the South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services to support patient care or an environmental organization of your choosing.

Deepest gratitude goes to all the friends and family who have supported Elaine and Shelby over the last six years, and Dr. Mrugala (University of Washington), Doctors Kiem and Adair at Fred Hutchinson, Dr. Eneboe, and Amy at Home Health and Hospice of Homer.