Harold M. Burdette, Harford County educator

October 08, 2008

Harold Merritt Burdette, a retired Harford County educator and volunteer, died Oct. 1 at Sinai Hospital of complications from bypass surgery. The longtime Bel Air resident was 89.

Born and raised in Renick, W.Va., Mr. Burdette was a 1937 graduate of Renick High School. During World War II, he enlisted in the Navy.

After the war, Mr. Burdette earned a bachelor's degree from Marshall College in Princeton, W.Va., and held master's degrees in education from the University of Virginia and the University of Maryland.

He moved to Bel Air in 1953, when he began teaching in Harford County schools. At the time of his 1982 retirement, he was supervisor of elementary education.

Mr. Burdette's volunteer work in his native West Virginia included aid to flood victims, visiting the ill in hospitals and helping unwed mothers.

"Helping others was his first love," said his wife of 18 years, the former Agnes Helbert.

Mr. Burdette was also an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air, where he had been a Sunday school teacher and deacon.

His wife of 43 years, the former Thelma Christian, died in 1989.

Services were held Monday at his church.

Also surviving are a daughter, Bonnie S. Bromley of Bel Air; a stepson, James M. Helbert of Cumming, Ga.; a stepdaughter, Patricia H. Jones of Bel Air; nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

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