Rufus E. Burgess III of Covert, passed away at his son Earl’s country home on Friday, May 27, 2011, at the age of 74.

Born on December 19, 1936 in Ithaca, Earl was the son of Rufus E. Burgess, II and Madeliene Jacques Burgess. He was a farmer-at-heart from an early age. While in high school he served as the Vice President of Future Farmers of America and following graduation from the Interlaken High School in 1954, Earl farmed and raised Black Angus. He maintained many of the machines throughout his 47 years at Borg Warner but the farm was where he enjoyed spending time the most. The farm was where snowmobile excursions began and often ended with spirited card playing late into the night. He and his buddies also rode many miles on their motorcycles, followed the NASCAR racing and the dirt track circuit together.  Later in life, he caught up with his old friends at car shows and flea markets both locally and in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Family and friends looked forward to spotting Earl’s GM truck or van rolling into their driveway. In recent years, Earl never passed up an opportunity to hone his “wheeling and dealing” skills at auctions.

Earl is survived by two sons, Earl Burgess IV of Interlaken and Mike Burgess (Bobbi Wright) of Trumansburg; one brother, Garth Burgess of California; one sister, Lynn Wicker of Pennsylvania; one grandson, Rufus E. Burgess V: one granddaughter, Morgan L. Wright and cousins and nieces.

The family will be present to receive friends from 2-6 pm on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg. The family also extends an invitation to their friends to join them for a reception at the Barangus on Wednesday, June 1st from 5-8 pm.