Cover photo for Paul Eugene Burgess's Obituary
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Paul Eugene Burgess

November 25, 1936 — June 23, 2023

Paul Eugene Burgess

Paul Eugene Burgess of Shawnee, Oklahoma, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on June 23, 2023.  Paul, a lifelong educator, taught government classes at St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee from 1966 until his retirement in 2008. Paul was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on November 25, 1936, and raised in the Kansas City area of Argentine, then dominated by the Santa Fe Railroad, where his father was a conductor. Paul, the only child of “older” parents, had a happy youth. He held warm memories of traveling the United States with his parents and to Cuba with classmates and working as a teenager at the local Safeway.

Paul graduated from Bishop Ward High School. He then went to Donnelly Junior College, where he was inspired to continue his education. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, and a master’s degree in political science from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.  While a junior in college, Paul met his future wife, Maryann Rohrbach, a freshman at St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, Kansas, at a mixer. They married in 1959. While living in Kansas City and starting his family, Paul, an Air Force reservist, was called to active duty during the Berlin Wall Crisis of 1961.

In 1966, Paul brought his family to Shawnee to join the faculty of St. Gregory’s College. Teaching young people about our government, democracy, and politics was important to Paul. And it was a particular joy in Paul’s life that he taught all five of his children. While raising his children, Paul shared equally with Maryann in the responsibilities and chores of parenthood. For years, he made the family breakfast and helped prepare dinner. His tacos, French toast, and pancakes will always be remembered.

Besides everything political, Paul enjoyed stamp collecting. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Paul even had a small shop, the Stamp Collector, in downtown Shawnee. Paul had an impressive library. From his hundreds of books about world events, important people, and economics, he regularly charmed his family and friends with his knowledge about how our past impacts today. Paul was an enthusiastic bowler, especially after his retirement. He took delight in his bowling leagues and friends at Shawnee Bowl. He was very fond of his friends from gourmet club, with whom he and Maryann shared not only gourmet meals, but also their lives for more than four decades. Paul’s deep intellect, good advice, and companionship will be sorely missed.

Paul is predeceased by his parents, Paul and Margaret Burgess, and granddaughter Natalie.  He is survived by Maryann, his wife of sixty-four years, and their five children, Linda and husband Steve and their son, Stephen; Paul H. and his children, Zachary Paul and Paige, and their mother, Melanie; Marlene and her children, Lindsey, Shelby, and Brandon; David and his daughter, Sarah; and Steven and wife Christi; and great-granddaughter Lindsey. Paul is also survived by Linda and Virgil Goracke, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law for over sixty-years, and their children, Anne Marie, Bruce, Kevin, Brad, and Michelle, and Burgess and Finn cousins.

A memorial service to honor Paul will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Walker Funeral & Cremation Service, 201 E. 45th Street, Shawnee, Oklahoma. Services will be livestreamed at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul Eugene Burgess, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Walker Funeral & Cremation Service

201 E 45th St, Shawnee, OK 74804

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