Maxine Roberta (Thurston) Burgess 83, passed away on Saturday, August 25th, 2018 at Grafton County Nursing Home on the Maple unit, in North Haverhill, NH. She was surrounded by family, present and in spirit. She was born January 16th, 1935 as the youngest daughter of Charles Eugene and Eva Etta (Page) Thurston at the family home on South Road in Bradford, VT. She attended the one room schoolhouse beside the family home until grade 8, and then went to Bradford Academy, graduating in 1953. While there, she made lifelong friends. She was a member of the Grace Methodist Church in Bradford and when she was confirmed, met her future husband. She was married to Stanley Leo Burgess on April 2nd, 1955. He passed away on June 30th, 1975 after 20 years of marriage, and then started dating her high school sweetheart, Charles (Bud) Curtis, who passed away May 13th, 2010. She lived all but a few years of her life in Bradford. During her few absent years, she migrated south to Bristol, NH, and spent one winter with Bud in Punta Gorda, Florida.
Her working career started when she was 11, it began by picking strawberries for the famous “Strawberry King” on the Lower Plain in Bradford. Other employers in Bradford included: Hill’s Five & Dime, Bradford National Bank- both the old bank and when they moved across the street, Perry’s Oil Service, Bill’s Restaurant, Channel Mills, Bradford Mini Mart, Bradford Village Store- where she created her famous Egg Macky Muffins, and later when she moved to Bristol, became a teacher’s aide in a one room schoolhouse located in Alexandria, NH. She was an amazing cook and baker, and for a short time, did some catering, helping families who were coping with losses by going in to do small house chores, cooking, as well as looking after young children for them. If someone was very ill, she would be the first one there with a home cooked meal, whether it was homemade soup, casserole, baked beans or bread. She also hosted many Holiday meals and they were always amazing, feeding at least 40 people for one meal. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Methodist Church, and the Firefighters Auxiliary all in her hometown of Bradford.
Her favorite thing in the world was to be surrounded by people and there was never a shortage of that. For a few years, she and Stanley had a bunk room attached to their garage to provide places for friends from other areas to stay when they came up for hunting and snowmobiling, there would be so many that a few had to camp out on the living room floor. At times, Stanley would welcome strangers that he had found stranded and invite them to the house without checking with her. That was just an excuse to do some more of her cooking that would win over many people, quite possibly the first time you ate it. Even in her final days, she was happiest when visiting with family and close friends.
Maxine was not a world traveler, but enjoyed her travels to Pittsburg, NH with family and friends to go “moosing” and participate in the Moose Festival. She had traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, West Virginia, through Amish country Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington DC, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Niagara Falls, all around Canada, and many places we can’t even begin to list.
She is survived by 2 daughters, Donnalyn (Burgess) Lyon of Corinth and Jonnalee Burgess and her fiancé, Shane Geddis Sr. of Enfield, NH, 5 grandchildren, Kenneth Wayne Davis, his girlfriend Kelly Chapman of Fairlee, VT., Lena Jeanne Cormier and her boyfriend, Don Pettit-Homme of Bradford, Stephanie Pauline Plante of Newbury, VT, Katrina Allyson Robinson and her husband Andrew Robinson of Claremont, NH, and Stanley Moses Bill and his fiancé Alicia Lang, of Grantham, NH, 12 Great Grandchildren: Avalon Davis, Zander Davis, Kaylee Hathaway, Emilee Hathaway, Ian Dudley, Alivia Hatch, Michaela Plante, Michael Plante, Marayah Pike, Leo Bill, Lily Robinson, Benjamin Bill, and Carson Bill, 4 Great, Great Grandchildren: Alexander Davis, Madison Fuller, Willow Plante, and soon to arrive- Isabelle Plante, 2 Brothers; Forest Thurston Sr. of Bradford, VT and Norman (Peter) Thurston of Newport, VT. Her Sister-in-law Ramona Thurston of Warren, NH and numerous Nieces, Nephews and so many dear friends, too many to count.
She was Predeceased by her husband, Stanley Burgess, her life partner, Charles (Bud) Curtis, 2 sisters: Nora Kidder, Pauline Mann, 8 brothers: Stanley (Benny) Thurston, Clifford (Clip) Thurston, Harry Thurston, Gordon Thurston, Ernest Thurston, Martin Thurston, Kenneth Thurston, Richard Thurston, 4 Half- Sisters: Lilla Bradley, Mildred Whitcomb, Mary Evans, Jennie Corliss, 4 Half- Brothers: Elwood Thurston, George Thurston, Charles Thurston, Howard Thurston, and several nieces and nephews.
Thank you to all of the staff at Grafton County Nursing Home in the Maple Unit for the amazing and wonderful care that they gave mom. She thrived once she got there because of all of the love and care from the Nurses, LNA’s, Doctors, and Joan from North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency out of Littleton, NH.
Calling hours will be held today, Tuesday, Aug 28 from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Hale Funeral Home, 187 Upper Plain, Bradford, VT. A Funeral Service will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, Aug 29 at 1 PM, with the burial to follow in the West Bradford Cemetery. Following the burial there will be a celebration of her life at the Bradford Senior Center. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations in Maxine’s name to Hale Funeral Home, PO Box 377, Bradford, VT. Online condolences can be given at www.halefuneralhomes.com.