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.