Obituary of John Burgan
March 10, 1932 – February 6, 2019
John H. Burgan. Age 86 of Grosse Ile.
Beloved husband of Shirlee (Gourdeau) Burgan. Loving father of Deborah (the late Steven) Makowski, Denice (Ron Byrd) Thomas, Diane (Philip) Franciosi, Dorothy (Eric) Johnson, Donna (the late Antonio) Aguirre and John Burgan. Also survived by 12 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.
John was born on March 10, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan to Clyde and Ruth Burgan. John had one brother Jim Burgan (deceased). He married his bride of 66 years, Shirlee Gourdeau on October 25th, 1952. Their everlasting love for one another is a true testament to the caring family that they have created and an inspiration to all that have known them. They lived in various areas of Michigan until settling on Grosse Ile in 1973 into their forever home.
He worked at Harrison Piping Supply in Livonia as an Inside Sales Manger until retiring in 1994. He then returned to work part-time at Jack Demmer Ford as a car porter, officially retiring in 2012.
He was a self taught handy-man and there was virtually nothing he couldn’t do. He enjoyed working on his home, all of his children’s and always had many “projects,” as he’d like to call them. He was an avid swimmer, diver and ski jumper in his younger years. He enjoyed many sports including softball, bowling, hockey, golf and downhill skiing Up North and out West well into his 70’s. His hobbies included collecting and building trains, as well as remote control and gas powered airplanes. He was a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics Organization. With a passion for photography, he captured all of our family events behind the lens. He was a gifted woodworker and created many family heirlooms. John and Shirlee were also huge Red Wing fans and season ticket holders for the past 50+ years. He loved all types of music and the louder the better.
John and Shirlee were blessed with 6 children, Deborah (the late Steven) Makowski, Denise (Ron Byrd) Thomas, Diane (Philip) Franciosi, Dorothy (Eric) Johnson, Donna (the late Antonio) Aguirre and John Burgan, whom he loved and adored with all of his heart. He was continuously blessed as the family grew to 12 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.
While raising his children he was their biggest fan and supporter. He loved to vacation with the family every summer on Higgins Lake enjoying swimming, boating and waterskiing along with evening campfires. Driving them to baton and Corp practice and competitions, hockey practices, choir concerts, marching band, and coaching hockey, he enjoyed being part of it all. He never missed a thing. His support never stopped and continued on with his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He obtained his greatest joy and happiest when surrounded by his family. He will be in our hearts and memories forever.