Harold Burshtan
1930 - 2020
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Harold Burshtan, age 90, a resident of Wheaton, IL died October 13, 2020 of natural causes. He was born May 4, 1930 to Sam & Esther Burshtan in Chicago, IL. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Kathleen; his children David (Kathy) Burshtan & Tracy Gates; his grandchildren Morgan, Sydney, Lindsey and David Burshtan Jr. and Bobby & Bailey Gates; and his brother Al (Ann) Burshtan. Harold was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher, friend, and scholar. His formative childhood years were spent in Preston, Iowa. Harold was a star athlete at Preston High School and still holds a state record in the Iowa High School Basketball Tournament. After graduating from high school (1947), Harold enlisted in the Army and was proud to be a Veteran. Serving from 1948-49, he rose to the rank of Sergeant. His illustrious career in education started humbly as he hitch-hiked with one suitcase by himself to begin college at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA). Harold's work ethic was legendary; his family and friends believe he was the hardest working human being on the face of the earth. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1952 and immediately set forth to earn his Masters Degree at Northern Colorado (Greeley, CO) which he accomplished in 1954. He went on to work on his doctorate degree at UCLA (Los Angeles, CA) in 1957. In 1972, Harold began what would turn out to be a 30-year career in Wheaton, IL. He opened Wheaton-Warrenville High School in 1972 and served as principal until it was repurposed as a junior high in 1983. At that time, he became principal of Wheaton North High School, which he did until he retired in 1992. Harold's pep assemblies and enthusiasm for sports at Wheaton North are legendary. In 1983 Harold received the "Those Who Excel" Award for the outstanding school administrator in the State of Illinois. Retirement for Harold was atypical compared to most. He worked at The National College of Education, Roosevelt and Columbia Universities, Freeport High School and The Illinois Math and Science Academy. Harold exercised daily at the Wheaton Sports Center and took up world travel as new hobbies. Helping found the Warrenville Kiwanis Club was another achievement; Harold was an active member and participated in a variety of fundraising efforts. Finally, anyone that knew Harold understood that he was a huge Chicago Cubs and Bears Fan. He rarely missed a Bears home game and was as excited about going to the games after 40 years as he was the first time. Harold packed as much love, work, fun and adventure into his 90-year life as humanly possible. But most importantly, he positively affected thousands of students and faculty over his 40-plus year career. He was the best husband, father, grandfather, and brother that anybody could ever ask for. We look forward to seeing you in heaven Harold. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. The family requests that memorial gifts be made in Harold's name in lieu of flowers to support Parkinson's research to the following: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, c/o Harold Burshtan-Parkinson's Research Fund, 420 E. Superior, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611. Call 847-971-4641 for online donation instructions or to give by credit card on the phone.


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Published in Chicago Tribune on Oct. 18, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
October 20, 2020
My condolences to Mr. Bursthans family. He was my high school principle at Wheaton North High School from 1985 to 1989. He will be missed
Debbie FRENCH
Friend
October 20, 2020
My condolences to the entire family! Mr. Bursthan was always the first person you saw walking in the door and a lot of times the last one out the door. He always had a smile and willing to assist. He was a great mild mannered man to his students!
Anne Wiedow
Student
October 19, 2020
What a true legend!!! A man who loved life, and you could see that in his smile every day as he greeted his students and faculty. That is the BEST obituary I have ever read. What a great life he lead and lived it to the very fullest.
God Bless Harold.
Steve Zelinsky
Student
October 18, 2020
I and my siblings were fortunate enough to have Harold Burshtan as our principal at Wheaton Warrenville High School. Mr. Burshtan stood at the entrance to school and greeted the students every day. He made every effort to get to know each student and it was apparent that he cared about each and every one. While he was tough, he was always fair and lent a sympathetic ear. Because we knew he cared, we knew we could go to him with issues or concerns. You knew he would listen and impart his wisdom to help set you in the right direction. I have wonderful memories of my personal interactions with Mr. Burshtan and because of his leadership, my years at WWHS. To the Burshtan Family - I wish you peace and thank you for sharing him with his students.
Cindy (VanderMolen) Lucaccioni
Student
October 18, 2020
My heart goes out to Harold’s family. He was a lovely neighbor with a smile on his face even when he was in pain. He will be missed.
Madeleine Barbieri Marbach
Neighbor
October 17, 2020
Harold made me smile every morning he came in to Wheaton Sport Center...(I,Michael,worked at Reception Desk)...Harold would come around 5:30 AMor so and he would always always say out loud...”I’m not going on that line”...”Michael will take forever to check me in”...I miss Harold everyday....
Michael Brancato
October 18, 2020
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
The Hultgren Family and Staff
October 17, 2020
Fond memories of Mr. B walking the halls and always making eye contact with each and every student and acknowledging them in some way, shape or form. Nothing but the highest regard for this “Gentle Giant”. May you be sitting at the feet of your Creator, enjoying your rewards!
Michele Carqueville Majeski
Student
October 17, 2020
I am a 1975 WWHS graduate. Mr. Burshtan was a very visible presence in the school. I saw him a couple years ago at a Wheaton restaurant and I approached him and we had a really nice conversation. He always showed so much interest in you personally. What a tremendous life! Condolences to the family.
Gwen McNatt
Student
October 17, 2020
We knew Harold as an intrepid Bears fan. Sat next to him at many home games and shared our excitement as the Bears took the field. Lots of great memories and he will be missed!

Jane and Ted Wynn
October 17, 2020
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the loving family of Mr. Burshtan. This is such a beautiful tribute to a kind and patient man who left behind a wonderful legacy. I’m sure he touched the lives of many over the years and will be dearly remembered and missed by all who knew him. Prayers for peace and comfort during this most difficult time.
Rest In Peace Mr. Burshtan.

Denise Gergits Giblin
Wheaton Warrenville Class of 1978
Denise Giblin
Student
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