Kelsey N. Burgess

June 12, 1994 ~ June 1, 2022 (age 27)

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Kelsey Nicole Burgess was born at Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, Washington at 3:47pm on June 12, 1994 - to the proud parents, Theresa Diane Clarkson and Robert James Burgess. 

Kelsey quickly displayed a love for family, friends, music, and FOOD. 

As a child, Kelsey studied the flute and learned piano by ear. When she misbehaved, she’d be sent to her room and when her punishment was over, it was always a fight to get her to come back and join the family. It took a minute to learn that Kelsey, in a bedroom, with a keyboard, was not punishment at all! We had to get more creative and take the electrical chord so she could not play the keys.

When we learned how well she could play, practically any song, at 12 years old, she began to play piano for the children’s choir at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship. She moved on to play keyboard/piano here, at Church By the Side of the Road in various capacities until she left to attend college at Southern University (SU) in Baton Rouge, Louisianna, her top choice after going to New Orleans for the Battle of the Bands during a Thanksgiving visit to Mississippi (of all places!) 

While at SU, in May of 2013, she got an opportunity of a lifetime: to play at Jazz Fest with the Southern U jazz band. The band’s pianist fell ill and Kels was called to fill in. She listened to the music on the one hour ride from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. It was the beginning of a 3-year stint to Jazz Fest where she was intrigued by the people, the music, the prices, and- the food.

In Louisianna, with the gospel choir at SU, she played piano in the company of….

Tamela Mann

Marvin Sapp

Donnie McClurkin

CeCe Winans and so many others. She was always excited to see the various artists and always humbled to be in their presence. She got to meet and have conversations with one of her all-time music inspirations, Cory Henry, a highlight of her life.

Kelsey was joy, and yet overwhelmed with the troubles of this world.

She returned home broken, though still our sweet baby.  She found her place with cooking and she loved to cook just as much as she loved to eat. While we were not always sure what we were going to eat when she cooked, we always knew it would be good. And it always was. 

She’s resting now with Jesus and, while our hearts are broken, our spirits rejoice that she has found her peace.

Kelsey leaves to mourn, her loving mother, father, sister- Kaila Autumn Burgess, aunties and uncles, a host of cousins and friends.  May we all remember her love, her laughter, her music, and her pure heart.  May we speak her name with happiness and reflection on how precious time is with those we love. Rest In Peace, our sweet angel♥️

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


June 12, 2022

3:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Church By the Side of the Road
3455 S 148th St
Tukwila, WA 98168

Funeral Service
June 12, 2022

4:00 PM
Church By the Side of the Road
3455 S 148th St
Tukwila, WA 98168

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