Thomas Elewyn Bursey

September 25, 1934 to April 10, 2020


Regrettably we announce the end of the rich and full life that Thomas Bursey of St. Philip’s enjoyed until his passing on April 10, 2020. He is predeceased by his parents Daniel and Elizabeth (Blackmore) Bursey, parents-in-law Clifford and Irene Luther. Left to cherish a lifetime of loving memories are his wife of 65 years Elizabeth (Betty), his devoted furry friend Angel, son Bob (Brenda) Bursey, daughter Irene (Ken) Abbott, grandchildren, Stevie & Nikki Bursey, Cole & Kristen Abbott, siblings John Bursey (Lillian deceased), Dolores (Rudy) Ottler, Marcie Brooks (Clint deceased), Elizabeth (Bernie) Lyons, Carl Bursey, and Karen Fraser. Also left to mourn are many beloved nieces and nephews and a large circle of friends including fishing/hunting buddies Leo White and Harold Priddle.

Tom was a loving husband, father and grandfather. His family was the centre of his life and he was profoundly grateful for the good fortune of having his children and grandchildren grow up and live in proximity to him in his beloved NL. Countless special visits and occasions took place at Papa’s house over many years. Bonfire Night was a particularly special annual event for the entire family and, on one occasion, the St. Philip’s Volunteer Fire Department as well.

Tom graduated from Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick with undergraduate degrees in both civil and mechanical engineering. He also obtained a Master of Science (Engineering) degree from the University of Saskatchewan and enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as a Professional Engineer working in both the public and private sectors.

He was a clear, critical thinker and applied this gift to his career and his many varied interests. He had a passion for matters relating to the environment, in particular, wildlife conservation. Tom was an articulate, tireless and persistent advocate for his causes, and passed away with several unfinished letters on his desk.

He also loved the outdoors and was an avid sportsman and expert fly fisherman. Tom always understood that any fruits of his innumerable excursions into NL’s outdoors were merely incidental to, and never the measure of, a successful trip. His lively wit, sparkling humour and clear tenor voice will be forever missed by those fortunate enough to have shared space with him around campfires throughout NL.

As a result of the current COVID-19 protocols there will be a family visitation only. In the future, a celebration of a life well lived and thoroughly enjoyed will be scheduled. Donations in Tom’s memory can be made to the SPCA or a charity of your choice.



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I’m very sorry for the loss of Thomas Bursey! I wish I had met him! I’m very sorry to post this here but I’m trying to get hold of a family member Betty, Irene or Robert. I’ve recently found out that we are cousins from a common ancestor-Irene Florence Rideout Luther who passed away in 2008. I really hope we can connect so that I can verify who I am. My Facebook page is Janet Mishoe Goetz and my email is If someone sees this post could you call one of the family members to reach out to me? I’ve also left my email address with the Carnells Funeral Home.

Tom mentored me for many years in my early engineering career. He was good at that. I often think of Tom and how he guided me in my early years in Canada. A gentleman and a scholar.

Betty. Our condolences

Aidan and Mabel Kiernan
Kelowna BC

I am so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a sweet, gentle man. My deepest condolences to Betty and family.

To the Bursey family.: It was with shock and sadness that I learned of Tom passing.. I met Tom when I joined the SAEN board. He was the voice of clarity and reason the whole time we served together. It is the basis of the deep respect that I always had for him. Tom, I will release one in your name this season, please God.

Mrs. Bursey and family,

I was very saddened to learn of Mr. Bursey’s passing. As a young civil engineer, I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Bursey when I started my engineering career with the Department of Public Works and Services. Mr. Bursey was an exceptionally talented engineer, a great mentor, a man of integrity and a lifelong learner. In the years following, I would often read Mr. Bursey’s letters to The Telegram, outlining his perspectives on various conservation and environmental issues. He was truly qualified for anything he took on. I will miss his wisdom and wit. May you find strength in the love of family and in the warm embrace of friends.

I am sorry to hear of Mr Bursey’s passing. I worked with him when he was contracted to oversee a million dollar renovation to The Grace Hospital on LeMarchant Rd. He was a pleasure to work with and I remember how appreciative he was that I had no problem reading his handwriting! He was a lovely man.

Mrs. Bursey, Irene, Bob and Families,
We are so saddened to hear of Mr. Bursey’s passing. Such a wonderful, kind- hearted neighbour for over thirty years. I will miss our chats in the berry patch and puttering outside. Always passionate about the protection of the environment and putting his thoughts into action. My father worked with him many years and remembers Mr. Bursey for his insightful, logical mind and strong moral compass. We will all miss him dearly. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time and will reach out personally when we can.

Betty and family:

When I heard of Tom’s death I immediately remembered his quiet demeanour and infectious laughter. I served with Tom for many years on the Board of SAEN and always valued his friendship as well as his thoughtful insight when a difficult issue was being discussed. I , as well as many others who hold our environment dear will miss him.

Paul Stokes

Bob, Brenda and family, please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your dad and father-in-law I know you have lots of great memories to cherish. So sad that you have to experience this loss so close to Brenda’s mom’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Heather & Frank Ryan

My thoughts are with you at this time

Mrs. Bursey,
Please accept our deepest condolences on the loss of one so dear to you. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. B. as his secretary for 6 years from 1986 to 1992 when he was Associate Deputy Minister of Works, Services & Transportation. Paul & I enjoyed our chats with you both whenever we ran into you at Costco or Canadian Tire. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. May God bless you all. Rest in peace Mr. B.
Paul & Cathy O’Leary

Betty and family…..I was saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. Thinking of you at this difficult time. Sincere condolences.

Bob sorry to hear of your father’s passing..His work in preserving our province’s rivers and ecology is his legacy. Dennis Browne

Mrs. Bursey, Bob ( Brenda, Stevie, Nikki), Irene ( Ken, Cole and Kristen). I was saddened to hear of Mr. Bursey’s passing. Mr. Bursey enjoyed his life and had many varied interests, most especially anything outside and particularly salmon fishing. He was also a devoted family man, as evidenced at the many family functions we attended at Bob and Brenda’s. I will always remember his smile and humor. He was a gentle man who was liked, loved, admired, and respected. Please know, I am thinking of you all with love and hugs, Mug

Betty, Irene, Kristen, Cole, Robert, Brenda, Nikki and Stevie,
This is a difficult time as you say your last good-bye to Tom. There are no words that make it any easier but knowing how dearly he loved you and how full his life was should help. Tom took great joy from life and appreciated the simple things as well as the sublime. When he looked at the night sky he did not just see stars but constellations and planets. It was never the same sky after seeing it with Tom. He was not given to half measures. Whether it was a simple project like a small shed or an important piece of policy Tom thought it through carefully and precisely. He loved his profession, engineering and brought the same methodical, determined approach to every task whether it was designing a building or starting a campfire. Tom had a great sense of humor and could always find a reason to smile. He loved music and he heard music not just in song but in the rivers and the rain. If he believed in something he did something about it. He never shied away from expressing his views and it was a pleasure to read his well thought out arguments. Tom liked good lines but not just for angling. We are very saddened by Tom’s passing and are thinking of you all. Please accept our deepest condolences.

Maureen and Leo White

My grandparents are one of the greatest parts of my life; they have the truest form of love for each other and for their family that you will ever see and I will ever know. I was so fortunate to live next door to them my entire life and to be raised by them as if they were my second parents.

The heartache of saying goodbye to my Papa is immeasurable, but the enormous number of great memories with him will fly higher than the pain. My Papa instilled the love for the outdoors into myself and all my family; he gave me my first fishing rod and handmade flies, he was an expert at the craft and always made sure I was equipped with all the best gear.

I could write a book on how beautiful of a person and grandpa you were, but instead I will spend each and every day carrying our memories and your life lessons in my heart. Every hike, every campfire and every milestone you will be with me.

I love you and Gammom with all my heart. ❤️

Betty and family, we were saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. Sincere condolences. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I know how you treasured your hunting and fishing trips together.
Memories of your Dad may bring tears today, but those memories will bring smiles tomorrow.
My condolences to you and your family.

Bob, Brenda and family,
Thinking of you and Brenda at this difficult time. Bob I’m sure you will cherish fond memories of your Dad. Sounds like you’re a little like him! Condolences to all in your family.

Bob so sorry to hear of the passing of your dad.
He will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him.

Betty so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Having lovely memories of Tom making Aunt Lil (aka Mom) a Tom Collins . He got such a kick out of it when she got silly. I know how much he’ll be missed. Give my love to all the family.

Bob and Brenda and family,

I am very sorry to learn of your loss. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

Bob, Brenda & family.
Sincere condolences on the passing of your dad. From our conversations over the years, I know you will have many fond memories of him and his remarkable life.

Mrs. Bursey & Family.
Sincere sympathy at this very difficult time,, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Mr. Bursey was a a very friendly gentleman, always a smile
when he dropped in at Sharpe’s Store, it was a pleasure to serve him and also you.
Take Care, God Bless You All.

Sorry for your loss Bob and Brenda. Deepest sympathy for your loss at this time.

I am sorry to hear that we have lost Tom. It was always a pleasure to meet him on a river or to hear him give a clear and reasoned opinion on any issue at hand at a meeting.
My condolences to the family
Robin Gamble

So sorry Betty to hear of Tom’s passing . Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

Betty,Bob and family. We were sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. .
He was a great conservationist, and a strong voice on the SAEN board. . He had a great sense of humour in addition to being a real gentleman..
A founding member of SAEN he will be sadly missed for his wise counsel.
Ian and Lorraine Gall

Betty, Bob and family. I was so sorry to hear from Leo this evening that Tom had passed away. I am sure you will miss him always . He did an incalculable amount for salmon conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador and I have many fond memories of working with him, the voice of reason, on a variety of issues addressed by the SAEN board.


Dear Betty, Irene, Ken, Cole, Kristen, Bob, Brenda, Stevie and Nikki,
We are so saddened to hear that Tom passed away. He was an amazing person who had a remarkable life! We remember him as always being so positive with a great sense of humor and wit. He will be missed deeply.
With love at this sad time,
Karen, Larry and Jamie Hammond

Betty and the Bursey family: Sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Please accept our condolences – Jim & Kay Butler

Betty, Robert and Irene,
It is with great sadness that we learned of Tom’s passing. He was a long time friend and we shared many happy times together. Although we are all grieving his death, we can also celebrate the wonderful happy and productive life he lived. We are all blessed to have had Tom in our lives and he will be sadly missed. God bless you and we pray that the many good memories you have of Tom will help you through this very sad and difficult time.
Harold and Frances

To Betty and the Bursey family: Our condolences on Tom’s passing. We always enjoyed our chats as he would be working on his driveway. We will miss him!

To Betty and the Bursey family: I am really sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with him for many years at the former Department of Public Works and Services. We had the highest respect for Tom. He was a great professional engineer, manager and gentleman; we learned a lot from him too. Please accept my sincere condolences.

To the Bursey family. I was saddened to hear that Mr. Bursey has passed away. Mr. Bursey was our ADM at the Department of Public Works and Services. We worked together for a number of years. I was just a young engineer starting out when I first met him and his door was always open when advice and guidance was needed. I looked up to him and had a lot of respect for him. He was a good person. In later years, I would read his letters to the editor in the Telegram and more recently run into him outside Sandra’s when Mrs. Bursey had an appointment and we would have lively conversations regarding proposed changes to professional engineering designations for retired engineers. He was an advocate who could be counted on for support of many good causes. R.I.P.

To Mrs Bursey, Bob, Irene and family, so sorry to hear of your loss. We know how much he meant to all of his family and friends. We remember Mr. Bursey as a soft spoken man with a warm smile who had an eloquent way with words. He always made time for others.He always made Angela feel important and comfortable. He was a true gem.
You are in thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. Cherish all the good memories, keeping them close to your heart.

Bob and Family, Please accept my condolences on the passing of your Father.
I am sure you all have many great memories of Mr. Bursey’ and will treasure those going forward.
Take care and best wishes to all.
Gordon Tucker

To the Bursey family: So sorry for your loss during these difficult times. May you find peace in the love within your family. Hugs to all. Bill and Linda Miller

Mrs. Bursey, Bob, Brenda, Irene, Ken, Stevie, Nikki, Cole and Kristen we are deeply saddened to hear the heartbreaking news of the passing of Mr. Bursey. We fondly remember him at many family celebrations, Christmas Eve get togethers and our camping trip to Lumsden Park. Mr. Bursey was always an engaged conversationalist who never disappointed in his clever and witty responses on any topic. He was always pleasant and had a twinkle in his eye and a sweet grin on his face. The world was a better place with him in it but now heaven has gained another brilliant brain and compassionate heart. Sending love your way Bernice, Tony, Ryan and Alexandria Batten

Bob and family
We know you are heartbroken now, and forever there will be an ache whenever something or someone reminds you of your wonderful father.
From his obituary it is evident he was well educated, bright and quick witted. But from being in his presence it is even more apparent.
He was a lovely man, and you are blessed to have had him as your father, grandfather ,and father in law .
May he Rest In Peace, after a long fulfilling life, and may he be casting for salmon as you bid him a safe journey

Dear Irene, I am sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. It is so very difficult to lose a parent. May memories comfort you & family as time heals grief. I’m sending virtual hugs at this difficult time. I met your Mom & Dad a few times at your house and they were so nice. Every time I pass Bell’s Turn, I fondly remember our childhood adventures in your neighbourhood & our laughter of so long ago. We were Holloway classmates and wish our paths had crossed in adulthood. Take care,

Mrs.. Bursey and Family,
I offer my deepest sympathy to you on the death of Mr. Bursey. I remember with fondness my visits to you and how I enjoyed the chats with him over a cup of tea.
I offer you my prayers and thoughts at this time.
May he Rest In Peace and rise in Glory.
Mrs. Bursey, take care of yourself and he would want you to move on and enjoy life as he enjoyed it. Peace to you.

I would like to extend to the Bursey Family my deepest condolences on Tom’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with Tom for a number of years at the Department of Works, Services & Transportation, Confederation Building. May Tom RIP

John Stamp..

We are very ,very sorry to hear of Tom’s death. We had the pleasure of knowing him through a lifetime friendship with Bob and Brenda. Fishing and hunting trips will not be the same without him. A virtual hug to the whole family
Gary Waterfield/Marg White
Perth Ontario

To the Bursey Family, I wish to send condolences to all of the Bursey family on the passing of Tom. I worked with Tom at the Dept. Of Public Works in the Confederation Bldg for a number of years. Tom was a very “detailed” man and took great pride in his work. He had a peculiar laugh and grin which he shared with all of his co-workers. may he rest in peace.

So heartbreaking for anyone who knew him. Such a wonderful person! ❤️
Mr. BURSEY (aka Papa) you will be missed by all who knew you. Remembered fondly, loved forever

Adele, Matthew and Max Cardoulis