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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Cole Mourns Loss of Bill Burgess

February 9, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) issued the following statement upon learning of the passing of William “Bill” Burgess of Lawton, Oklahoma:

“I was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely death of my dear friend Bill Burgess of Lawton,” said Cole. “Without question, Bill lived an incredible life in service to his community, state and nation. The world is truly a better place because of him.

“Bill was a gifted attorney, businessman and civic leader. He rendered invaluable service to our state as a regent for both the Oklahoma Board of Regents for Higher Education and the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. Bill also served our country as a Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, a job he took seriously and performed with exceptional energy and dedication. No one loved, admired and supported our men and women in uniform more than Bill.

“Widely recognized and respected as one of Oklahoma’s outstanding leaders, Bill was inducted into both the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. As a businessman who developed the largest software engineering company in Oklahoma and was once the owner and publisher of the Lawton Constitution, Bill was admired for his entrepreneurial ability and success. A tireless advocate for Oklahoma business, he served stints as Chairman of both the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Business Roundtable.

“Bill was not only an extraordinary leader for Oklahoma, he was one of my closest friends and strongest supporters. We bonded immediately when we met in the 1990s. But that wasn’t unusual for Bill. He had a gift for making and keeping friends. We relished our shared background as the offspring of career noncommissioned officers and the products of military families. And we worked tirelessly in the public arena to advance policies and leaders who we both thought would benefit our state and country.

“I extend my sincere sympathies to Bill’s dear wife, his beloved children, his extended family and his legions of friends, associates and admirers. Oklahoma has lost a leader of exceptional vision, energy, ability and character. And I have lost a dear friend whom I shall always remember and who I will miss for all my days.”