James Robert Burdick was born in Shawnee Oklahoma on November 11, 1934 to Mary Dulsena Lee and John Fulton Burdick. His interests in several areas - military, music, craftsmanship, cars and the arts - exemplified his life. He graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1954 and attended Oklahoma A & M through 1956. He was awarded an arts scholarship at Oklahoma Christian University and later obtained his bachelors degree in 1986 from Central Oklahoma State in business administration. He served his country initially in the artillery of the 25th army infantry division serving in fire direction control. He later transferred to the band, holding various positions including first chair trombone and drum major before retiring from the service. His civilian career involved his draftsman skills utilized in designing highways, plants, and buildings for various companies including General Electric, Texas Instruments, State of Oklahoma, and Alcatel, among others. Work was a blessing for him and he maintained an active career past 80 yeas of age. He gave back to his roots and was president of the Oklahoma Military Academy alumni association and also won the Ballroom dancing competition for the state of Oklahoma.
He was a craftsman of many talents able to rebuild a house, install a fireplace, or fix most anything. He utilized his talents in multiple ways but winning numerous pine wood derby contests with his two sons was just such an example. He loved tinkering with cars and exhorting their maximal output in street racing in daredevil fashion. He later developed an intense interest in genealogy and became involved with the Sons of the American Revolution including tracing our genetic roots to Colonial days with Governor Burdick of Rhode Island. He loved wearing a kilt to emphasis our Scottish heritage but was chagrined to learn our genetic background was more diffuse than Scottish to include most every ethnic region in the UK and additionally Scandinavian, German, and French lineage. His ability to draw in stylistic fashion was always a talent and he created art for his son’s patent application. His artistic talents were firmly rooted in a love of music and later expressed in creating stained glass works and family crests. He furthered his father’s collections of coins cataloging their presence and value. He continually maintained a meticulous pattern of dress and household organization, which he attributed to his military experience.
He married Dana Ruth Burdick November 17, 1956 and had two sons: Dr. James Steven Burdick and John Robert married to Twilla. He leaves behind 5 grandchildren: Brittany Vasae, Derek, and Kalli; Colin and Connor. Special recognition goes to Gail Belton for her dedication and assistance.
In leu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Wounded Warriors, or Boy Scouts of America . The latter under the BSA Last Frontier Council to Baden- Powell in Memory James Robert Burdick.