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Esther Height Burlingham

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Esther Height Burlingham

AGE: 93 • State College, PA

Esther Height Burlingham, 93, resident of Foxdale Village in State College, PA died March 7, 2014. Born April 11, 1920 in Meridan, CT, she was a daughter of the late Lloyd Harvey and Doris (Matthews) Height.

Esther grew up in western Massachusetts. She earned a Bachelors degree at Framingham University in Framingham, MA and spent several years as an elementary school teacher. Her passion for teaching and reading drew her to pursue a Master of Library Sciences degree at Columbia University in New York. After earning her degree, she moved to Wilmington, DE., where she took a job as a school librarian and where she also met the love of her life, James (Jim) Philip Burlingham. There began an enduring partnership in appreciation of art, horticulture, nature, music and the joy of learning. They married in 1953 and raised two daughters, Sally and Nancy, in an old farmhouse in Forestville, PA. Gardening and horticulture were central themes of their property as well as their travels and affiliations.

In 1974, Esther and Jim moved to São Paulo, Brazil when he accepted a post for DuPont de Nemours and she became the librarian at L'Escola Graduada. They traveled throughout South America before returning to their home in Forestville in 1976. Esther became the librarian at the Oxford Public Library. She became a native plant expert and guide at the Mt. Cuba Center botanical garden, and volunteered for the Brandywine Conservancy and the League of Women Voters.

In 1991, Esther and Jim moved to Foxdale Village in State College. A lifelong learner and fine artist, Esther was active in the community, serving on committees and volunteering for various art and nature organizations. Esther loved art, nature, music and politics and lived every moment of life to its fullest. She is survived by daughters, Nancy (Howard) Brodsky of Armonk, NY., and Sally (William) Frank of North Salem, NY; a sister, Shirley (Charles) Dolby of Venice, FL; and grandchildren, Jordan and A.J. Brodsky and Alexandra and Andrew Frank.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Esther's name may be made to Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, 3400 Discovery Road, Petersburg, PA 16669-2114. A guest book can be signed or condolences sent to the family at

Published in The News Journal on Mar. 16, 2014
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