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David Burrington

Obituary Condolences

David Burrington

"D.B.", father, husband, brother, uncle, journalist and beloved friend to many died peacefully at the age of 82 on December 26, 2013 after suffering a heart attack. He was a resident of Hillsborough for 30 years.


David was born in 1931 in Rapid City, South Dakota with Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood in the background of a Norman Rockwell childhood. 


After graduation from the University of Minnesota in 1953, he was drafted into the Army and served in postwar Germany. Using his GI Bill benefits he attended postgraduate school in Paris and returned to the University of Minnesota to obtain a Masters in American Studies in 1959.


From there, he began a 40-year career in broadcast journalism, starting at local TV stations in Minneapolis and Philadelphia. He received a Sarnoff fellowship to study film at UCLA and then went to work at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles as a reporter.


He became a network correspondent for NBC news in 1966.  Most of his career with NBC was spent overseas with postings in Vietnam, Paris, Tel Aviv, Rome, Madrid and Cairo, Burbank and San Francisco. Major assignments included the Tet 68 offensive in Vietnam and the Yom Kippur war in Israel.


After the closing of the NBC San Francisco bureau in 1991 he worked as a freelance producer until 2001. His many friends and colleagues recognized his fine work. They remember him as a man who took his job seriously but not himself.


He married Maria in April 1983, and fatherhood arrived after his 50th birthday. Being "Dad" to Rachel 28, and Ingrid 26, was his greatest joy and proudest accomplishment.  He once noted that teaching his daughters to drive was more stressful than working in a war zone. 


In his later years his wife and daughters watched as he endured cancer, a small stroke and Alzheimer's with tremendous grace and humor. He participated in studies and clinical trials at Stanford and UC San Francisco to further understanding of Alzheimer's disease.  His sense of humor remained with him through his last day of his life.


David is preceded in death by his parents Therlo and Mary Burrington, his sister Barbara Mehrens, and his nephews John and Jeff Mehrens.


In addition to his wife, daughters and much loved dog Oscar, he is survived by his sister Joyce Barsaleau of Porterville, CA; and his nieces and nephews Mark Barsaleau, Dean Barsaleau, Mary Grace Barsaleau, Robin Barsaleau Chriss, Diana Mehrens and Linda Mehrens.


His family is planning a celebration of David near his home in San Mateo Co. near his birthday in March 2014.  Ice Cream will be served in his honor. If you wish to honor his memory the family suggests you make a donation to the or Pets in Need of Redwood City, CA.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 4 to Jan. 5, 2014
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