Ernest Miller Burgess (“Ernie”) of Hoover, Alabama entered the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the morning of May 7, 2021, at the age of 90 after a long battle with Dementia. Ernie is survived by his wife of 70 years, Josie; daughter, Gina Cody; grandsons, Michael Cody (Maegan) and James Cody (Nicole); three great-grandchildren, Noah Robinson, Aldyn and Callan Cody; fours sisters-in-law who were always like sisters, Sarah Morris, Joyce LaFoy, Nellie Henderson and Guinn West; and a host of nephews, nieces and cousins.
Ernie was born on October 25,1930, in Rock Mills, Alabama. He grew up working on the family farm and at the Wehadkee Yarn Mills in Randolph County prior to joining the United States Army. He was proud of his service in the Army and upon returning home from the Korean War, he attended Southern Union State Community College. Following graduation, he packed up his family and moved to South Florida to begin a career at Publix Supermarket where he spent many years as a Meat Manager. When he learned that his only daughter would give birth to his first grandchild, Ernie immediately decided it was time to retire from Publix and relocate to Birmingham, Alabama. He loved the meat business and after spending some extended time with family, he came out of retirement and enjoyed a second career at the Piggly Wiggly in Homewood, Alabama where he loved working until he couldn’t work any longer.
Ernie was a faithful husband and father and he loved being “granddaddy.” The greatest joys of his life were his two grandsons and he never regretted retiring early and leaving Florida to be near them. Ernie touched lives wherever he went. He was loved by everyone who knew him, and he never met a stranger.
Words that describe Ernie’s character are tender, friendly, generous, selfless, sacrificial, strong, hard-working and intensely committed to the ones he loved. He would credit all of this to the grace he experienced through knowing Jesus Christ as Savior. Ernie was a long-time member at Church on the Bluff in Bluff Park, Alabama where he served as a deacon for many years. He loved being a greeter and had a sweet smile and handshake for all. He was a true servant. Until his illness, he spent countless hours helping others, mowing neighbors’ yards, delivering Josie’s homemade pies and Meals on Wheels, and helping anyone in need. His whole life was about his faith, family and friends whom he faithfully served to the end.
Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse William (J.W.) Burgess and Murphy Maudisa Adamson; siblings, Leon Burgess, Myrtice Norred, Palmer Burgess, Claudia Hardy and Leola Blackmon; and his beloved son-in-law and best friend, Gary Cody.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Church on the Bluff, 2211 McGwier Drive, Hoover, AL on Friday, May 14, 2021. Visitation is from 10:00am to 11:00am with the service following at 11:00am. Interment will be at the Alabama National Cemetery, 3133 Hwy. 119, Montevallo, Alabama at 2:00pm.