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Dr. William Burnham

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Dr.  William Burnham Obituary
Dr. William J. Burnham

Well known dentist of the Ridge Dale Farm in Shaftsbury, VT. 1933-2016 William Joseph Burnham, D.M.D., F.A.C.D., was born in Stoughton, MA, June 10, 1933, the son of Mr. Forrest Emerson and Carolyn Evelyn (LaGarde) Burnham. Dr. Burnham graduated from St. Mary's Grammar School (1945), Monsignor Coyle High School (1951) and St. Anselm's College (1955) in Manchester, N.H. He then entered Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and graduated with the class of 1958. He later entered the USN Dental Corp. as lieutenant serving in Washington D.C. at the Naval Gun Factory. While in the service he received his oral surgery training at the Walter Reed Army Hospital and the Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was a veteran of the Korean era. In 1960 he resigned his commission as Lieutenant Commander but continued in the Naval Reserve for eight years. He then moved to Bennington, VT buying the dental practice of Dr. Norman Himes. Soon after arriving in Bennington, he organized the Bennington County Dental Society and served as its president for several years. He also organized the Oral Surgery Department at Putnam Memorial Hospital and was Chief of that staff. Along with being on the staff at the Bennington Hospital, he was also appointed to the staff of the North Adams Regional Hospital. Dr. Burnham went through the chairs of the Vermont State Dental Society and became its 100th president in 1976. He was a delegate to the American Dental Association from 1975 to 1976 and served on the A.D.A. hospital inspection team for several years. He was the Bennington Supervising Union School Dentist for 25 years. Memberships included MA, NY, NH and VT Dental societies, the Piere Fauchaud Academy, the New England Dental Society, and the American Dental Association. He also had time to spend 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Delta Dental Plan and served on the Mt. Anthony School Board. He was a life member of Delta Sigma Delta Professional Fraternity and served as Grand Master in 1955. Dr. Burnham was also the primary dentist at the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington for many years. In 1978, because of his many contributions both civically and professionally, he was inducted into the American College of Dentists being sponsored by Dr. Jack Mann and Dr. John Houlihen (the then president of the American Dental Association). This fellowship is one of the most prestigious awards bestowed to a dentist. Dr. Burnham retired from active dental practice and oral surgery in April of 1998 after 40 years in the profession. Dr. Burnham had been married to Phyllis Evelyn (Anderson) Burnham having five children: Brenda Lee, Donna Jean, William Joseph, Jr., Julianne Marie, and Phillip Anthony. He later married Linda Colliano and they have two children: Shane Emerson and Katie Lynn. He has 15 grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and his five siblings: John Forrest, Arthur LaGarde, Barbara Francine (Murphy), Mary Patricia and Evelyn Loretta (Gately). He was a communicant of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of North Bennington and St. Ames of Naples, FL. He was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Bennington Elks Club for over 50 years, the American Legion Post 13 and a 50 year senior member of the Bennington Rotary Club. He was host of several national sportsman organizations including: the Safari Club, the Foundation for North American Sheep, the Grand Slam Club and the Battenkill Fly Fishers Club. Dr. Bill, as he was affectionately known, was an avid sportsman. He hunted and fished locally and all over the world. He harvested record book trophies from Africa, Europe and the South Pacific, along with North American Species. The pinnacle of his hunting achievements was harvesting the four North American sheep known as the Grand Slam number 749. He was well-known in the sporting circle as Dr. Bill of Vermont. Much of his spare time was spent at his hunting camp in Somerset, VT where he hunted, fished and developed some of his land holdings. He was active in boating for over 40 years. With his family and friends he cruised up and down the East Coast as well as the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers. He raised his family on Ridge Dale Farm in Shaftsbury. He and his family participated in a variety of activities: gardening, maple sugaring, raising bees, raising game birds and of course cutting wood for the house and the sugar house. The property housed a hundred yard shooting range along with a trap house, where he refined his shooting abilities. Dr. Bill was a devoted family man leaving a wonderful and successful family along with a host of friends, nephews, nieces and a special friend, Laraine B. Smith. He was especially close to three of his nephews, Kevin Gately, James Burnham, and Edward Burnham. FUNERAL NOTICE: Friends may call at the Mahar and Son Funeral Home in Bennington on Sunday, January 17th, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The funeral will be held from the Mahar and Son Funeral Home on Monday, January 18th, 2016 at 10:15a.m. with a prayer. A funeral mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in North Bennington, VT at 11:00a.m., where the Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be offered. The burial will take place in the family lot at the Holy Seplucha Cemetery in Stoughton, MA on Tuesday January 19th, 2016 at 11:30a.m. If friends desire contributions in memory of Dr. William J. Burnham may be made to ones favorite charity through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at : www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 15, 2016
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