Paul S. Burtness
1923 - 2019
June 30, 1923
December 10, 2019
Paul S. Burtness

Born: June 30, 1923

Died: November 4, 2019

Paul S. Burtness, of Sycamore, IL, died Monday, November 4, 2019, at home.

Born June 30, 1923, in Chicago Illinois, Paul was the son of Sidney Thorander and Margaret Johnson Burtness, beloved husband of Jean W. Burtness (deceased) and beloved father of Karen (JanWillem) Burtness Prak and Neil Burtness, and brother of the late Theodore Burtness of Centerport, NY.

He graduated from Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee and received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1953.

He was formerly Professor of English Literature (history of the language, Chaucer, Milton) and Dean of the College of Arts and Science at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Author of several anthologies, a study of Edgar Allen Poe (The Enigma of Poe), a college English handbook(Close Reading of Factual Prose), a collection of articles about The Puzzle of Pearl Harbor and, in collaboration with Dr. Warren U. Ober, of numerous articles concerning World War II.

He loved classical music, great literature, sailing, hiking and swimming, tennis and golf, played a respectable game of chess and for most of his life held subscriptions to numerous performing groups, among them the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Music of the Baroque.

Arrangements were completed at the Butala Funeral Home and Crematory in Sycamore.

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Published by Daily-Chronicle on Dec. 17, 2019.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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Funeral services provided by:
Butala Funeral Home & Crematory - Sycamore
Sponsored by Butala Funeral Home & Crematory - Sycamore.
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2 Entries
I feel compelled to state my sincere condolences and aloha for the passing of Dr. Burtness whom I only know through his research of Pearl Harbor and recent read of the Article published in the Australian Journal of Politics and History, "President Roosevelt, Admiral Stark, and the Unsent Warning to Pearl Harbor: A research Note." I have grown to respect and appreciate his work over these past 7 weeks of reading his literature and was absolutely crushed to research more today to find he had recently passed. I chose the above read November 2019 for a school paper I was writing for the Pearl Harbor Apprenticeship Program here in Hawaii where I work as a Rigger Apprentice now. As a Hawaiian and USAF Veteran I was extremely moved by the delicate and deliberate article he and Warren Ober conjured. It brought a bit of relief and closure to many questions I had about the Great War, and validated information that had been passed down to me over the years through my own family. To the proud people of this great state his work will have a healing effect as more become familiar with it. This article moved me in such a way that it inspired me to dive deeper for additional clarity and has significantly benefited me in such a short amount of time. HIs work shall always be a part of my family as I will share and cite the great work he has done in literature as well as his service to our country. I just wanted to give you and your family a huge Mahalo, may the lord guide and protect your Ohana with wisdom. Aloha Ke A Kua
Kamuela Alesna
January 10, 2020
Karen and Neil
My deepest sympathy on the death of your father.
It was my privilege and pleasure to work with your dad for 10 years in the College of LA&S office. I learned so much from his thoughtful, persuasive yet rigorous leadership style. In my judgement he was an outstanding Dean of the College. The right person at the right time.
After he retired, we would get together for an occasional lunch at a local restaurant. I especially enjoyed our discussions about NIU, politics and investing. In addition, he always wanted to know about my most recent travels.
I have lost a good friend with the passing of your father.
Larry Sill

Larry Sill
December 19, 2019