George W. Burlingham (Obituary)

George W. Burlingham Pacific University Trustee Emeritus George W. Burlingham died Jan. 28, 2014, at the age of 79. 

Burlingham was born and raised in Forest Grove and married his childhood girlfriend, Ruth, in 1956. They spent 57 years as best friends, partners and parents of three daughters.

He earned his degree in economics from Stanford University in 1957, then served in the U.S. Army for two years, much of it at the National Security agency. In 1959, he returned to Forest Grove and joined the family grass seed business, E. F. Burlingham and Sons. He was president and chairman of the board from 1970 to 1995, as well as chairman of several affiliated companies and president of Burlingham Seeds from 2000 to 2013. He also served on several local boards and commissions in Forest Grove and Washington County.

From 1988 to 2012, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Pacific University, following in a family tradition of support of the university. He was an active member of the property committee and an enthusiastic supporter of the reinstated football program. Before him, his mother, Doris, served as one of the first female trustees at Pacific, and she and his father, Charles, were instrumental in the restoration of and donation of furnishings for Old College Hall. Before that, his great-great-aunt Cora was married to Henry “Prin” Liberty Bates, one of the first principals of the Tualatin Academy. His sister-in-law, Ruth Burlingham Loomis ’25, attended Pacific, later taught P.E. while coaching women’s field hockey, basketball and softball, and is honored in the Pacific University Athletic Hall of Fame.

George Burlingham received the Pacific University Community Service Award in 2005, and he and his wife received the Pacific University Harvey Clark Award in 2003. Burlingham Hall is named in honor of the family’s long-time support of Pacific.

George Burlingham was preceded in death by his daughter, Dori, and parents, Gordon and Doris. He is survived by wife Ruth; daughter Sheri and son-in-law Randy Schneider; daughter Karen and son-in-law Mark Bland; grandchildren, David and wife Julie Brettle, Brandi Dooley, Michael Bland and Dori Bland; great-grandchildren, Conor Dooley and Alex Schneider; and sister and brother-in-law Katharine and Don Epstein. Memorial donations may be sent to Pacific University, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116.