Burgess, Capt. John Seldon “Junior”, 88
On March 17, 2022, with fair winds, a high tide and the sun on his back, Dad set sail for his final voyage to the Grand Banks.
Junior was the first child born to Seldon and Edith Burgess. He grew up in Southwest Port Mouton surrounded by a huge family.
In Junior’s early years, he spent a lot of time either at the hunting camp with Grampie Arthur, picking blueberries with Grammie Effie, at the store with Uncle Freddie, or back to the bungalow helping Aunt Gertie cook for the men in the woods. The old people seemed to drag him around wherever they went, I guess that’s why he did the same with all of us. Grampie Arthur even took him out of school to go fishing, and since then, he never looked back.
He spent his entire career sailing all across the Scotian Shelf from Cape Hatteras to the Flemish Cap. Dad started out fishing smaller boats, the Peppy, Bonnie & Marilyn, Pat & David, and one more that didn’t actually have a name. Leave it to Dad. He made quite a name for himself as a fishing captain on the Roland & Sister’s catching either swordfish, halibut, ground fish or hake, the Liverpool Bay and Eastern Provider fishing for offshore lobster. His last boat was the Roland & Sister’s 2. When he wasn’t inshore fishing, he was taking people on tours around the harbour and Port Joli head.
Dad was admired and respected by all of the men that were fortunate enough to sail with him, especially when he was able to get them safely back to shore after a few storms that others didn’t make it through. He often talked about those times, with one in particular, when he took sheets of plywood on board. He said the “old fellas” thought he was crazy (of course everyone was old to him, even in his 80’s). Well those sheets of plywood were used to board up the windows in the wheelhouse and mattresses off the bunks were used to patch up a hole in the side of the boat enough to get him in to Teddy Snyder’s. The wave also shorted out everything in the wheelhouse, so he used the foil out of a package of cigarettes to make a fuse for the radio to call in to shore and let them know he was on his way. We always knew when it was Dad calling from the boat when Mom answered the phone and would say, “I can hear you, can you hear me”.
In 1961 Junior took on his greatest task, marrying Muriel and becoming a father to first Heather, then Cavell, Karen, Roland, and Wendy. After that, the grand and great-grand children started rolling in. There is quite a bunch and he was proud of every single one.
It was always the little things that were important to Dad, Sunday dinners, going for drives and stopping for fish ‘n’ chips, a Christmas tree at the fish house decorated with swordfish hooks and “gangions”, making a lean-to for us to sleep in when we went camping on the island in Path Lake, playing cards and spending time with Tom and Joan, as well as lots of others, making an Easter basket out of an old pear box and stuffing it with moss, letting the grandchildren cut down trees with a bait knife, or pretty much anything they wanted to do. Like riding on the back of the truck all the way to the camp, as long as they laid down of course. And don’t think that didn’t have Mom chewing at him. He would just grin like he always did when she got mad, never stopped him though. “Goddam fool” she would say. Speaking of gangions, many a pair of pants were tied up with gangions if you didn’t have a belt.
Lots of time was spent on the Goosehills, up the fire road with Willie, setting eel pots, clamming, moose hunting in Cape Breton, trout fishing in Cox’s, deer hunting on Moodies Barrens (his happy hunting grounds), camping at Sandy Bay, Louis Head beach, Johnson’s Pond or pretty much anywhere he could find a spot, boat trips to Port Mouton island, or Port Joli head, and maybe even a lobster or 2 cooked on the coals amongst the rocks. There were also lots of cookouts at his beloved fish house. He enjoyed going to the rink to watch the kids play hockey and ring his bell, Mom didn’t think much of that though.
Dad loved to help Roland cut wood on his woodlot, read, especially stories of the sea and of course “the daily paper”, cook bacon and eggs for the grand & great-grand kids, shop at the Dollarama, and go to McDonald’s for a muffin and tea and chat with whoever was there. He wasn’t shy about talking to anyone and made friends wherever he went.
Dad had many challenges over the years but nothing could keep him down, not the storms at sea, the cancer in 2001 that the doctors said he would only live for 3-5 years, or the near drowning in the lake when he fell out of the boat with hip-waders on. He was a tough old bird and worked hard all his life, probably would have still been fishing if it wouldn’t have been for his wooden hips.
Junior is survived by daughters Heather (Richard) Whynot, Port Mouton, Cavell (Gary) Nowe, Chelsea, Karen (Chris Hatt) Burgess, Milton, Wendy (Blair) Whynot, New Grafton, and son Roland (Denise) Burgess, SW Port Mouton. Grandchildren Matthew and Mark Whynot, Lindsay Lowe, Jeremy Thorbourne, Ethan Whynot, Shannon Nowe, Madison, Chloee and Liam Burgess and 12 great-grandchildren, sister Bonnie Jippes, Port Joli.
He was predeceased by his parents, sister Marilyn Cassidy, Pa’s old dogs Holly and Maggie, and of course, the love of his life, companion, and partner in crime, Muriel. Mom and Dad went everywhere together, you didn’t see one without the other. So of course they wanted to be laid to rest together.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Chandlers’ Funeral Home, Liverpool. There will be a family service at a later date. No flowers, donations of kindness, a wave, and offer to help anyone who needs it would be greatly appreciated. Online condolences may be made to www.chandlersfuneral.com
Thank you to home care, VON, the second floor nursing team, Dr Morash for the many years of care and a very special thank you to Dr Burrill, Dad thought the world of you.
Keep sojourn’ along Dad, we’ll see you bumbye.
A Fisherman’s Prayer
God grant that I might live to fish
Until my dying day,
And when my final cast I’ve made
And life has slipped away,
I pray that God’s great landing net
Will catch me in it’s sweep,
And in His mercy God will judge me
Big enough to keep.
Offer Condolence for the family of Burgess; Captain John Seldon “Junior”Print Obituary & Condolences
You sure was a true blessing to everyone that knew you..
To All of Junior’s Family
My condolences to the Family, thinking of you all in these difficult times. I fished with Junior in my younger years. I am glad he was able to do the many things he wanted in his life and enjoy them all. Set sail my friend, may the wind be on your back and have a safe Journey.
To all the Burgess family my sincere condolences. What a fantastic obituary to a life well lived. Liam you are in my thoughts. I know how close you and your grampy were.
So sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Your mom was probably the first one to meet him in heaven Hugs
Will surely miss you and your wit . Hope you are truly in a better place pain free
Lana & Paul Bowers
Condolences to the family at this difficult time
Sorry for your loss
To Junior’s Family
I am so very sorry For your loss.
I met Junior a very shy cousin when I came to South West when I was in my teens.
I spent a lot of time with Bonnie and shared many meals with Uncle Sheldon and Aunt Edith.
They where all very kind folks.
Junior was such a shy but friendly person.
Hold on to your Memories.
Love,Al and Joyce (Muir)Allard
Min and Noel
Our condolences go out to the Burgess’. He was always such a sweet man to us.
To all of the family:
We are truly so sorry for your loss. Junior was a wonderful man…..always had a smile and a wave whenever we saw him. He was a great neighbor, I have many fond childhood memories of him and Muriel. Thinking of all of you in the difficult days ahead. Rest easy.
Susan, Kenny & family
My Sincere Condolences to the family.
My condolences to the family. He was truly a kind and gentle soul.
Richard and Peggy Hatt
Dear Burgess Family ,What a wonderful tribute to your Dad …You all have so many great memories to help you during this sad time .Junior lived a very full and interesting life .May the love of your family and many friends be of comfort to you .. Sincerely Peggy and Richard Hatt
Edith Mayo robart
To Juniors family. He was such a sweet man amd would talk to you no matter where he saw you. Beatle and I use to go to the camp on Goosehills to play cards with them. We had alot of laughs. Junior and Muriel were both such sweet people. Sending you all big hugs and am so sorry to hear of his passing.
So sorry to hear Karen
So sad to learn Junior has taken his last earthly voyage. I remember vividly his maiden voyage aboard the ‘Roland & Sisters.’ I feel it is safe to say that many of the Port Mouton deep sea fishermen honed their abilities under Junior’s tutelage as Captain. I believe his passing marks the end of an era. When I look back upon those times, I remember fondly Junior’s calm demeanour, courageous character and his all round pleasant personality. Sending my sympathy to Junior’s children and his entire family.
Shelley Hope Boens
Karen so sorry to hear about your dad. Never easy but keep the memories alive and him always close to your heart. |Sending hugs your way.
Donnie and Valerie
What a wonderful tribute to your father and grandfather. A wonderful story to be passed down to future children. Please accept our deepest condolences.
Valerie and Donald Inness
So sorry for your loss,Please except my condolences.
My deepest sympathy to junior family ,he was a great guy,I used to babysit the children for them .G Dale SMITH
My mother (Jeannie) always spoke fondly of her cousin Junior. My condolences to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and everyone who loved him.
Donna and Ian Denison
So sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. I haven’t seen him for awhile but he always waved when I met him in the car. My condolences to you all. – Donna and Ian
Tonya Richard Patterson
So very sorry for everyone’s loss.. thinking of all of you during this very difficult time
Condolences to the family, great man Dad even fished with him in the early yrs sorry for your loss
Wanda Seldon and family
Sending heartfelt sympathy to all … xx
My sincere condolences to all of you and what a great tribute to a wonderful man.
So sorry to hear that this very important man in your lives has passed away. It seemed that he was so respected as a father, and grandfather. I remember him at the rink watching his grandchildren play hockey.
My thoughts are with the family at this time. I am sure Junior found a wood pile to play in. He lived a full life with family always near.
Donnie & I are truly sorry for the loss of your Dad, Grampy & brother. He always had time for a chat and a smile. Love & hugs to you all!
David whynott of mersey point
Condolences to all of Sheldon’s family , first got to know him at Freddie’s store when I delivered there in Younger years.blessyou all at this sad time
June and Ron Smith
We were saddened to hear of Junior’s passing. He was a very friendly and a gentle man…sincere condolences to all the family.
Philip& Holly Smith
To the Burgess family,
We were saddened to read of the immense loss to all. Your Dad and grandfather certainly lived a long and full life. And he and your Mom raised a wonderful family. What a legacy!
May memories of all the good times you shared together carry you in the days ahead.
My sincere condolences to you all.
To all Juniors family, Our sincerest condolences. You have beautiful memories of your Dad to cherish always. Love Mac & Darlene
Sincere sympathy for your loss.
Valerie and kenneth
Wendy Blair and family so sorry for your loss or prayers are with you and the family .God bless you all.
Tom and Sheila Sheppard
Our thoughts are with you, Wendy, and with the family.
To the Burgess Family,
My deepest sympathy to all in the loss of your Dad. Girls, I am thinking
of all of you. Cherish your memories.
Timothy and Colleen Roy
To all the family,
We were sorry to hear about Junior”s passing . Timothy remembers well, sailing up the La have River to Snyder”s ship yard in 1974 . His faith never waivered in Captain Junior’s ability to get them safely to shore . He was a great man to sail with . Keep your memories of him close to you and he will always be with you .
janet colp Jean Wagner Peter Colp
To all Juniors family,
So sorry to hear about Juniors passing,
he now is with Murial . Our thoughts and prayers are with
you all at this sad time
TONY LE0NARD ROY
my sincere condolences to the burgess family
Rollie, I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad. It was easy to see what a caring, hard working man he was through his obituary. Thinking of you and your family.
I had the good fortune to meet “ Junior “ a few times in the last number of years while visiting friends in Liverpool- and I was impressed by this quiet , friendly man. I was also very fascinated by all the treasures and pictures he had hanging in the “ fish house “. And the stories that went with each one . One night his grandkids and a couple of mine had a bonfire on the beach by his place and they all slept the night upstairs in his place. The next morning all of the kids got up to a full breakfast of bacon and eggs and toast. I couldn’t believe he made breakfast for about a dozen kids – what a wonderful thing to do . Reading his obituary and hearing of the full life he led – makes me think he was truly one of a kind. And I feel blessed for having met him .
We are thinking of you all and what a loss this must be. You were all very lucky to have had such a man in your lives to give you love, guidance and wonderful memories.
Sincere condolences to all of Juniors family,may the great memories get you through these most difficult days!
Howard & Charlotte Callahan
We were very sorry to hear of Junior’s passing. Junior was a warm, kind man with a gentle spirit. He and Muriel loved it when they stayed at the fish house.We used to go by there on our way for a walk on the beach and he would often come out to us and on occasion, would invite us in for a visit. His spirit will live on. We wish to extend our sincere condolences to the family.
David and Bonnie Hatt
To all the Burgess family our sincere condolences.What a great obituary for a life well lived.
Karen, sorry for your loss. Thanking of you.
Sorry for your loss Karen & Family.
Hal and Pearle Leslie
Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your father and grandfather.
To all of Junior’s family: I didn’t really know your Dad, Grandfather, etc. but my father Crosby (Bud) McLeod certainly did! I overheard him talking to my mother one night about Junior Burgess and he thought the world of him! I realize, after reading the obituary, that Daddy wasn’t the only one to think so much of Junior. You were blessed to have him in your lives, and what role models he and Muriel were for you all! May they rest in peace.
Brenda and Ira
Sorry for your loss. He always had a smile, waved to me when I was out and about. A great job on the write up and video. You have lots and lots of memories for sure. RIP Junior.
so sorry for the whole families loss he sure will be missed in the community
Maria Labour/Craig Stuart
Our heartfelt sympathy to all of Junior’s family. Junior was a wonderful man and always spoke when we met. He never failed to wave as we passed on the road. We have heard many fishing stories from our dad over the years and Junior was mentioned along the way. When I told Dad of Junior’s passing he said “I’ve fished with many but Junior was the best Captain I ever fished with.” He has left you with so many wonderful memories. Take Care
Philip & Daisy
He certainty was a kind and gently soul, he always waved when we met him on the road, we will sure miss him hoping all your seas are calm captain, sincere condolences to all the family..
As I read Junior’s obituary I could hear all your voices full of love and pride telling the story of this life. Junior was one of the best story tellers. So many people loved your father and also your mother. I smile when I think of the fun times I had with them. You will miss this very special man, yet he is now with Muriel, maybe driving a truck with a little dog sitting in the middle.xo
Al & Dot Labour
To all of Junior’s family, we send our heartfelt condolences. May you find comfort in the many beautiful memories. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Heather, Karen, Cavell, Wendy and Rollie and families
Sorry for your loss!
I wish to express my sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father. I remember times you spoke of him and it would always bring a smile to your face. I hope that time and fond memories will lessen the burden of your sorrow, and that you may draw some measure of comfort knowing that others care and share in your loss.
Take care and god bless..
Claude & Phyllis Bonnell
Heather, Cavell, Karen, Wendy, and Roland & families
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at the passing of Junior. We appreciated the times we spent with him at the fish house getting to know him and hear his stories. We know that the grandchildren and great grandchildren all adored him and will miss his presence at the fish house. May God grant you His comfort.
Claude & Phyllis Bonnell
Bobby Kretschmer (Toronto)
When I was a young twerp Junior took me aboard the Roland and Sisters and showed me around from stem to stern, saving her wheelhouse for last.
What a perfect summer day up to Bud’s. I was amongst Port Mouton’s finest!
Thank you Captain Junior Burgess. Rest in Peace.
Bobby Kretschmer (Toronto)
Ivan & Marilyn Huskins
To all of Junior’s family
There’s not much anyone can say at this difficult time
just that Ivan & I ( Marilyn ) would like to send our
condolences to each and every one of you at this time.
May God Bless and may he rest in peace.
Gary and Donna Allison
Sending condolences to all of Junior’s family, so very sorry for your loss.
Allan and Beth LaRocque
To The Family.
We are very sorry to hear of Mr. Burgess passing. He was a good person and loved his Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Quieter than many, more patient than most; he will be well remembered.
My sincere condolences to the whole family.
Bob and Brenda Lohnes
Rollie, Liam and Karen: So sorry that you lost your father and grandfather. He sure sounded like a very likeable guy. May happy memories help you during this sad time. Liam you probably don’t remember me but I was the one at Junior Guides who always had my camera in my hand shooting many pictures of you and the others.
So Very sorry to all the family.
Lorimer and Evelyn
Thinking of you at this sad time. Take care of each other.
Wendy, Roland and Family,
I was very sorry to learn of the passing of your Dad. Over the years you have shared many happy memories of Junior and his exploits. As an individual he loomed large and will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with you.
Fair winds following seas Junior. A good captain, a gentleman. Always a pleasure to work with you and a greater pleasure to know you. Karen, arms tight and to all of your family heart felt condolences. A good man and from a different era
Roy C. Himmelman
Sorry to hear of Juniors passing he sure was a great guy
sincere condolences to the Burgess family – Junior was special to us, always a friendly wave and a treat for our dog Macy from his front porch on our walks. A life well lived to be so highly thought of by so many. Allen and Lynn Fownes and Macy.
We have only just learned of Juniors passing. We have many wonderful memories of conversations with Junior and Muriel. We were grateful for their warm welcome when we were fortunate to buy the former Fred Burgess’s home. Junior always had time for a visit, and was eager to share stories about the past, which we so enjoyed. His energy and zest for life was inspiring. His love for his family was always evident in the way he talked about them, their interests and their accomplishments. He was so very proud of his family. We were honored to have know him and we shall always remember him and his quiet, gentle ways. A wonderful obituary tells us of an incredible life, well lived. Our most sincere sympathy to his family. Nancy and Ken McBay and family.