August 08 1935 December 26 2019
Jerry Dee’s Obituary Jerry went to be with the Lord on December 26, 2019 with his family at his bedside. He was 84 years old and the only child of Walter and Ruth Harris Burnam of East Alton, Illinois. He grew up and attended school in East Alton, IL. He attended the University of Illinois, earning a B.S. Degree in 1957, Master’s degree in 1960, and his PhD in 1981. He served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Missile Artillery, U.S. Air Defense Command, Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB), Rapid City, SD. In 1958 while stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, SD he met and married his wife Phyllis Joy Gould, a registered nurse. They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on December 14, 2019. Jerry participated and enjoyed many activities. He was very active in the Boy Scouts; earning the Eagle Scout rank and Silver Palms; attended the Boy Scout National Jamboree at Valley Forge; and was a Brotherhood member in the Order of the Arrow; also held leadership positions including Scoutmaster. He was so proud that five of his grandsons also earned the Boy Scout Eagle Rank. He enjoyed playing chess, tennis, he was a “walk on” for the University of Illinois football team but never played in a game. He was a competition marksman shooter while in the army. He liked hunting and was happiest sitting in a boat while fishing. He loved spending time with family, friends, and at church. He enjoyed gardening, home renovation, reading, solving Sudoku puzzles, watching football with his son-in-laws and grandsons. His professional career took him to Washington, D.C. as an Employment Development Officer for the DC Department of Recreation, Director of a resident summer camp for children in Ludington, Michigan. He was Executive Assistant-Faculty-Program Director at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois and Director of the Children’s Farm Zoo, Rockford Illinois Park District. He was active in professional organizations which included National Recreation and Park Association, Illinois Park and Recreation Association, Williams Midwest-Central Region of Academic Affairs Administrators, National Association of Academic Affairs Administrators, and a 60 year member of the Masonic Tin City Lodge # 112 A.F. & A.M., Hill City, SD. In 1972, he returned to the University of Illinois where he served as an assistant to the Dean and later became the Associate Dean for Academic and Business Affairs College of Applied Life Studies. He led a most varied and satisfying career and he retired in 2000. After retirement, he and Phyllis enjoyed the best of two areas; spending the winter months enjoying the warm and sunny days of Florida and the summers in beautiful “pure” Michigan. Surviving him are his wife and 3 children and their spouses: Lynda (David) DeBlanc of Metairie, LA, Lance (Laura) Burnam of Urbana, IL, and Lynette (Dr. Robert) Baker of Kalamazoo, MI; a sister-in-law, Doris Tillman of Hill City, SD; and many cousins from Illinois; 11 Grandchildren: Lance (Katie Lenartowicz, Fiancé) Burnam, Lucas (Haley) Burnam, Lindsey Burnam, Capt. Andrew (Carrie) Johnson (USAF), Caleb (Erin Jones, Fiancé) Johnson, Jessica (Cory) Cahill, Amanda (Jordon) Beery, SSGT Paul Baker (USAF), Katelyn (Alex Contreras, Fiancé) Baker, Ryan DeBlanc and Shawn DeBlanc. Joyfully together, they celebrated the births and infancy of 9 great-grandchildren. Jerry’s funeral will be held on Thursday, January 2nd; Visitation from 10:00 – 11:00am, Service at 11am, followed by a reception at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Interment will take place at a later date at Hill City Cemetery, South Dakota. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his honor to the “Jerry D. Burnam Student Scholarship Fund”, University of Illinois, website: ahs.illinois.edu/give/student-scholarships. For more information: The University of Illinois Foundation • Harker Hall • 1305 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 244-2706 Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Jerry Dee Burnham PhD August 08 1935 December 26 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Rapid City, state: South Dakota