Virginia Pearl (Austin) Burgess

CHELSEA – Virginia Pearl (Austin) Burgess, 81, passed away at Lakewood Continuing Care Center in Waterville in the early morning hours of Dec. 14, 2021 with her son by her side.

Virginia was born on Oct. 28, 1940 in Hartland to Carroll and Dorothy (Drew) Austin. She was one of ten children and loved to tell stories of growing up on the family farm in Vassalboro. She was a graduate of Erskine Academy and went to work for the Maine Department of Labor as well as spring seasons at Longfellow’s Greenhouse. On Sept. 1, 1962 she married James K. Burgess Jr. and they settled in Chelsea to raise their two children.

Gini, as she was affectionately known, loved to travel, go camping, drive her 1950 Chevy to classic car meets, work at the greenhouse with her family, and volunteer at her church. She spent many years caring for her husband James until his passing in 1992. Later in life, her greatest joy was her two granddaughters, Kendra and Morgan. It was then she simply became known as Gram. She was so proud of them and could often be seen at their school events and soccer, basketball and softball games. Gram was well known for her feisty spirit and it was often said you could hear her before you saw her!

She was predeceased by her husband; parents; her brothers Bernard, Barclay and Douglas, and her sisters Meredith and twins Jane and Jean Austin.

She is survived by her son Jeffrey Burgess and his wife Leslie and their children, Kendra and Morgan Burgess; a daughter, Laurie Doody; her sisters Gail, Carolyn and Nancy; as well as several nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Lakewood Care Center for their outstanding and compassionate care of Gram in her final days with us.

A celebration of life will be held in the spring.

Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home, One Church Street, Augusta where memories, condolences and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at

In lieu of flowers,

memorial donations

may be made to:

PALS No-Kill Cat Shelter

188 Case Rd.

Winthrop, ME 04364

in honor of her love for her many cats over the years

Virginia Pearl (Austin) Burgess

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