"He took every opportunity and milked it for all it was worth." Noosa bookstore owner Ross Burgess passed away on Friday, September 11.

Final chapter for popular bookstore after owner’s death

In sad news for the Noosa community, Hastings St bookstore owner Ross Burgess has died after a long health battle.

For more than 10 years, Mr Burgess was a friendly face and a listening ear for local and visiting book lovers at Mary Ryan's Bookstore in Bay Village on Hastings St.

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As daughter Nicole Robertson remembers, her dad lived and breathed books and he loved catering to the people who came into the popular store.

"So many people just loved to come in and talk to him about books," she said.

Ross and Susan Burgess with Turia Pitt and husband Michael Hoskin during a guest author event at Mary Ryan's bookstore. Photo: Supplied
Ross and Susan Burgess with Turia Pitt and husband Michael Hoskin during a guest author event at Mary Ryan's bookstore. Photo: Supplied

Growing up, Ms Robertson remembers her dad loved the classics and he always had his nose in a book.

"He always had a book on the go, Charles Dickens was his favourite author," she said.

"He always encouraged us to read. If we asked him a question, he would encourage us to go and look it up."

After retiring from a successful international executive career, Mr Burgess toyed with the idea of studying but it was his great passion for language, literature and people that swayed his decision to buy the Noosa bookstore.

Since his death on Friday, September 11, numerous customers and friends have visited the store to pay their respects.

One regular remembered Mr Burgess as "a genius of a man" and they loved coming in and listening to him talks about books, it helped him broaden his horizons.

For Nicole, her dad will be lovingly remembered as "astute and gentle" and someone who "did what he wanted to do".

"He travelled the world, he had a great family and an awesome career," she said.

"He took every opportunity and he milked it for all it was worth."

Mr Burgess is survived by his wife Susan, two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and one great grandchild, who was born in May.

His family and the Mary Ryan's team have thanked the Noosa community and its visitors for their loyalty and custom over the years to help create and support a bookstore which was a favourite for many and above all, a source of great joy for Mr Burgess.

The last day of trading at Mary Ryan's Bookstore will be on Wednesday, October 7.


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