Melvin Harley Burgess, born November 26, 1947 in Leader, Sk. passed away in Medicine Hat on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at the age of 63 years. The family wish to say thanks to all his friends he met the last few years living in Medicine Hat and Redcliff. Your friendship truly made a difference in his life. Harley will be missed by his daughter, Lisa (Joel) Keeler and their children Raine and Daxon; two sons, Jamie (Lyndsey) and Jeff (Sarah); a sister, Sandra Burgess and her daughters, Tami-Lynn and Sheri-Lee (Gerard) and their families. He was predeceased by his parents, Melvin and Thelma Burgess and a sister, Jeri-Lynne. Harley’s life will be silently remembered by his family and friends at this time.
I'm 43 now and I was 17 when I first met Harley when I started working for the Wheat Pool in Portreeve. He was always very kind to me. He sold me and my best friend his moms old stove when he heard we didn't have one. He used to come into the elevator and we'd have a few cigarettes together (he felt bad about smoking because of his dad passing from lung cancer). I always called him on his birthday as we had birthdays in November together. I used to tease him about being an old man even though he was in his 40's then. He always talked about Bev and his children. He was so proud of them. I know he suffered terribly from mental illness and that breaks my heart, not just for him but for his children and Bev. Mental illness is brutal on families and back then there was not alot of knowledge. When I moved away and had kids, Harley did reach out to me. He was open with his illness and that he was living in Medicine Hat. He had met a friend who also suffered and he found some comfort in that. I wanted to leave Bev and the kids this message; that while I can't possibly know the pain that came from Harley's illness into your lives, I did want to tell you that there was this gentle funny side to him that made a difference in my life. All my love to you all