Hurricane Evacuee dies while waiting for storm to pass

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - At least one evacuee won't be going back home. He died in the Mid-South while waiting for the storm to pass.

For the Burgoyne family, the death of a loved one was made easier due to the generosity and kindness of those in the Mid-South.

As Hurricane Gustav approached the Louisiana coast, the Burgoyne family was not only dealing with evacuating but also with the deteriorating health of a terminally ill loved one.

"He went down about a year to a year and a half ago. You know where he had to go on oxygen and his breathing got bad," Althea Burgoyne said.

68-year old Daniel Burgoyne and his wife Althea live in Harahan, LA., a small town 13 miles from New Orleans. Their family in Hernando brought them to the Mid-South by train last Friday.

Mr. Burgoyne had lung disease and was in hospice care. He died in his sleep in Hernando on Wednesday morning.

"This is a way I can make a difference in the lives of evacuees who have suffered a death 300 miles from home," funeral director Brent Taylor said.

It was Mr. Burgoyne's wish to be cremated. Taylor offered the services of his funeral home free of charge.

"I saw the goodness that resides in the mid south area. People coming together to help those that are in need. I didn't forget that," Burgoyne said.

Mrs. Burgoyne said she would be heading back to her Louisiana home sometime Friday, but will never forget the kindness of people in the Mid-South.

"It tells me that there's still good people in the world and we overlook that cause we hear so much of the bad people," Burgoyne said.

Taylor said any of his three funeral homes in Hernando or Munford will offer free services to any evacuee that needs them. He said it is the least he can do for those in need.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.