John C. Burdette Jr., engineer

December 14, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

John C. Burdette Jr., a retired electrical engineer and co-founder and partner in the Baltimore engineering firm of Burdette, Kohler, Murphy & Associates Inc., died of complications from diabetes Dec. 7 at his Glenarm home. He was 88.

Born in Baltimore, the son of a B&O Railroad mechanical engineer and a homemaker, Mr. Burdette was raised in Edmondson Village.

He was a 1939 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1943 from the Johns Hopkins University.

During World War II, he served with the Army Signal Corps in the New Guinea campaign and later in the occupation of Japan.

Discharged with the rank of captain at war's end, Mr. Burdette went to work for Celanese Corp. in Cumberland. In the late 1940s, he joined Egli & Gompf Engineering Co. in Baltimore.

In 1968, he was a founder of Burdette, Kohler, and Murphy, a mechanical and electrical engineering firm. He retired in 1989.

Mr. Burdette had served on the board of the old Lutheran Hospital and Bon Secours Hospital and had been vice chairman of the Liberty Health System board.

He had been president of the Engineering Society of Baltimore and the Building Congress & Exchange of Metropolitan Baltimore. He was also a member of the Johns Hopkins Club.

Mr. Burdette's hobbies were woodworking and drawing cartoons and lettering. He also invented and manufactured Catabout, a nylon travel bag designed to carry pets, family members said.

He was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Sweet Air. where services were held Thursday.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Margaret L. Hook; two sons, Stephen C. Burdette of Bel Air and David G. Burdette of Forest Hill; a sister, Mary Washer of Baltimore; and two grandsons.

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