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Frank Allan Burdick

1933 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Burdick, Frank Allan

Frank Allan Burdick, Professor Emeritus of History at SUNY Cortland, died at Groton Nursing Home, Groton, NY on January 19, 2013. He was born in Brooklyn on February 21, 1933 to Frank A. and Marie Connor Burdick, but was raised by foster parents "Floyd and Ethel Sholes" on a farm in Columbus, Chenango County, New York. He graduated from New Berlin Central School, and was a Korean War veteran. After serving in the Army he attended SUNY Albany where he received an BA and MA degree in history. He then taught for 4 years at Liverpool High School in Liverpool, New York before accepting a position at SUNY Cortland. In August 1963 he attended the march on Washington and heard Martin Luther King give his "I Have a Dream" speech. From 1964 to 1966 he attended the University of Iowa and studied under Christopher Lasch for a PHD in history, returning to Cortland to rejoin the History department. At Cortland he taught the series of courses in Recent US History, and due to his growing interest in US foreign policy he developed one of the first college courses in the Vietnam War, an area where he devoted his research and writing. His interest in the war led him to review numerous books on the war and he wrote several articles on the Military's role in the development of strategies and tactics in the war. He also won three NEH fellowships for further research on the war and spent one summer on a fellowship at the United States Military Academy at West Point. At Cortland he served as Associate Dean of the Arts and Sciences Division several times and as Chair of the History department. He was also active in the facility union "United University Professions" and served four years as President from 1979-1983. Along with membership in the American Historical Association, he was also a member of the Society of Military Historians. After his retirement he became active in the American Political Items Collectors Hobby and enjoyed the collection and displaying of his large collections of Political items. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer (Jack) Silas, granddaughters Jordan and Cameron of Atlanta and son Chris of Tampa, Florida. Per his instructions there will be no funeral or burial service. A Memorial Service will be held at SUNY Cortland at the convenience of the children. Contributions in Dr. Burdick's name can be made to the Cortland College Foundation, directed to the Frank A. Burdick scholarship fund at SUNY Cortland, PO Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045. To offer on line condolences visit

Published in Ithaca Journal on Jan. 23, 2013
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