Bill Burgess

Published 5:56 am Monday, July 27, 2015

AHOSKIE – Wade William Burgess, “Bill”, 76, of Ahoskie, passed away July 22, 2015. Bill was born in Springfield, IL. on March 12, 1939 to Marie and Joseph Burgess.

Bill graduated from the University of Southern Illinois with a degree in public health and in 1965 he graduated with a Masters of Science and Public Health from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. It was there that Bill met and married Nelle Hicks Burgess.

Bill worked for many years in the health care field as an administrator, a career that led to a life of adventure and travel for Bill, Nelle, and their four children. Bill’s passion and commitment to improving public health was felt far beyond Northeastern NC as he worked in many Middle Eastern countries, including the Gaza Strip during the course of his life. Ultimately, it would be North Carolina, with its beautiful beaches and stellar basketball, that Bill would call home.

Bill was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Nelle Hicks Burgess; his brother, Karl Sperl of IL.; and his parents, Marie and Joseph Burgess, also of IL.

Bill is survived by his four children: Wade William Burgess Jr. and his wife Jenny of Charlotte, NC, Jennie Burgess Byers and her husband Matt Byers of Wake Forest, NC, Patrick Burgess and his wife Jessi of Davidson, NC and Stephen Burgess and his wife Sherri of Ahoskie, NC. Survivors also include his sister, Pat Weikle of IL., and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 25, 2015 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ahoskie, NC at 3:00 pm.  The family will receive guests immediately following the service at the home of Stephen Burgess.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie is handling the arrangements for the Burgess family and online condolences may be directed to the family at