Vera Burgess, the wife of prominent Standardbred owner and breeder Bob Burgess and the mother of the O\'Brien Award-winning trainer Blair Burgess, died at Oakville Trafalgar Hospital with her family at her side on Saturday after a very brave and long fight against cancer. She was 70.
Mrs. Burgess was born on March 19, 1939 in Zilina, Czechoslovakia and immigrated to Toronto in 1948. She attended Riverdale Collegiate, the University of Western Ontario and the Ontario College of Art. In addition to raising her large family in Campbellville, Ont. with expert and loving care, Mrs. Burgess also actively helped manage, own and operate one of larger standardbred horse breeding operations in Ontario for the past 40 years. Prominent champions included the Hall of Fame stallions Balanced Image and Real Desire and the Hambletonian winners Amigo Hall and Glidemaster. Until the end, Mrs. Burgess was hands-on and known to all.
Mrs. Burgess is survived by Robert, her husband of 49 years, and by her five children Blair (Karin), Timothy (Lan), Pamela (Michael), Stephanie (Stephen) and Katherine (Christopher). Vera is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, Emma, Taylor and Linnea Burgess; Cameron and Kathleen Burgess; Sarah, Caitlin, Julia and Heidi Schaffler and Hannah and Justin Burgess. Vera also leaves her sisters Eva and Vera (Carl) and her brother-in-law Richard (Odette) and their respective families.
In accordance with Mrs. Burgess\'s wishes, cremation has taken place. There will be a celebration of Burgess\' life for family and friends on Sunday, April 19, to be held at the family home from 2-5 p.m. at 8220 MacArthur Drive, Campbellville (from the 401 go south on Guelph Line to Third Sideroad then east to MacArthur Drive). In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Canadian Cancer Society by calling 1-888-939-3333 or http://www.cancer.ca.