United States Air Force Officer and pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Sierra C. Burgess passed away on March 26, 2021, at the age of 42 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on July 5, 1978, at home to Rosalind Burgess and Richard Burgess in Garberville, CA.
From early childhood, Sierra knew he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to become a pilot and worked diligently to get accepted into the United States Air Force Academy. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences. Always challenging himself, he became a member of the Wings of Blue parachute team and enjoyed leading his fellow cadets. Sierra later completed his Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice from American Military University in Virginia in 2011.
During his 21 years in the Air Force, Sierra was a Senior Pilot in the MC-130P Shadow aircraft as well as a staff officer for Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). A third-generation lieutenant colonel, he was a proud member of AFSOC during his entire career and was the epitome of the Quiet Professional embodying its “Any Place, Any Time, Anywhere” motto.
A loving husband, Sierra married Amy Burgess (Georges) on April 21, 2008, in Fort Walton Beach, FL. They have two daughters, Branwen (7) and Teagan (5). Adored by his daughters, he was an amazing and loving father. Sierra was a wonderful family member and friend and was always helping others. He loved flying, woodworking, and spending time with his family
Sierra is survived by his wife, Amy Georges Burgess; daughters, Branwen & Teagan; mother, Rosalind Holycross; brothers, Ben Burgess & Ryon Burgess (Shelly); sister, Roxanne Gosnell (Bobby); his nieces and nephews, and the rest of his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Burgess, and his grandfather, Robert Schellhous.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 2, 2021, at 10:00 AM., at the Hurlburt Field Air Park, 315 Independence Rd, Hurlburt Field, FL 32544.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (https://specialops.org). Sierra supported the Special Operations Warrior Foundation for many years and deeply believed in their charter of supporting the severely wounded, ill, and injured Special Operations personnel as well as providing educational assistance to the children of fallen Special Operations troops.
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