William Boyd “Bill” Burgett, founder of Kokosing Construction Company and a tireless industry activist for decades, passed away on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, after a long illness. He was 85 years old.
In 1951, Bill started the firm that has grown into a family of successful companies, headed by Kokosing Construction, now one of the most prominent highway contractors in the Midwest. At the same time, he served as a volunteer leader for numerous industry groups, including the Ohio Contractors Association and National Utility Contractors Association, both of which he chaired, and ARTBA, where he served on the board of directors for many years. Bill was a key supporter and trusted advisor to many elected officials in his home state, including former Governor and U.S. Senator George Voinovich. He was also active in many civic, educational and church activities in the Knox County, Ohio, area.
Most importantly, Bill was a devoted family man. He is survived by Shirley, his wife of 67 years, three children, 14 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, a sister and numerous in-laws. Bill’s son, Brian, is currently Kokosing’s president and CEO, as well as a prominent industry advocate on the national level.
For those wishing to make memorial donations, the family suggests contributions to the Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Rd., Mount Vernon, OH 43050, or the Parkinson’s Exercise Group and other programs at the Waterford United Methodist Church, Attn: Brent Winand, 7326 St. Rt. 19, Unit 1005, Mt. Gilead, OH 43338.
Around Kokosing’s 50th anniversary in 2001, Bill provided an extensive oral history which is currently available on the company’s website. He summed up his experiences as follows: “As I look back on the last five decades in the construction business it gives me a sense of accomplishment, but what I mostly appreciate are the people I have met, the relationships and friendships that have developed, and the memories………sincere thanks to all.”
ARTBA extends its sympathies to Bill Burgett’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.