Cornelius B. Burgess Sr., Inquirer circulation manager

Cornelius B. Burgess Sr.
Cornelius B. Burgess Sr.
Posted: October 30, 2013

Cornelius B. Burgess Sr., 83, of Elkins Park, a former circulation manager for The Inquirer, died Thursday, Oct. 24, at Rydal Park in Jenkintown of complications from diabetes.

Mr. Burgess was a zone manager from April 30, 1977, to Nov. 19, 1993, when he retired. After his newspaper career, Mr. Burgess became vice president of Neany Inc., a family-owned firm in southern Maryland that does research and development for the Department of Defense. The company used his nickname, "Neany," as its own name.

"This was the highlight of his working career," his children said in a statement. "He was never more pleased [than] to work for a company named after him."

A pillar of Mr. Burgess' life was his Christian faith. He served as an ordained deacon for many years at Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown.

Mr. Burgess, also known as "Pop" and "Conny," was a gregarious man. He enjoyed barbecues in the backyard at which all were welcome, his family said.

"The more people, the better. Good food, plenty to drink, and lots of laughter were staples of all parties hosted by Pop," his children said.

Born in Abington, he graduated from Germantown High School before serving in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Mr. Burgess married Mary A. Artis on Sept. 6, 1951, in Cheyenne, Wyo. The two moved frequently, including to Okinawa, and had six children. They settled in Elkins Park. Mr. Burgess took various jobs to provide for his family. He delivered milk and papers, sold insurance, and cleaned offices and banks.

In the 1960s, Mr. Burgess went to barber school on the GI Bill and became the owner-operator of a barbershop and beverage distribution company, both in Philadelphia.

Mr. Burgess was small in stature but "a giant" in their eyes, his children said. He liked to travel widely with his entire family.

"His goal in life was to exceed the size of his father's family, and he did that," said daughter Sandra Murphy.

Surviving, besides his daughter and wife of 62 years, are sons Tracy and Richard Artis; daughters Darcella Lowe and Gladys Steptoe; 13 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a brother; two sisters; and nieces and nephews. Another son, Cornelius B. Jr., died earlier.

A viewing is from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, with a "going-home" service to follow at 11, at the Greater Exodus Baptist Church, 704 N. Broad St. Interment is in Fairview Cemetery, Willow Grove.



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