Jerry Dee Burnam

Jerry Dee Burnam died Dec. 26, 2019, with his family at his bedside. 

He was 84 and the only child of Walter and Ruth Harris Burnam of East Alton, Ill.

He served in the United States Army as a surface to air missile officer (Nike) stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D. In 1958 he married the former Phyllis Gould of Hill City, S.D.

They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary Dec. 14, 2019. After his release from active duty, Burnam returned to the University of Illinois where he completed his master’s degree in 1960 and later his Ph.D in 1981.

He worked in many areas of public parks and recreation administrations including Washington, D.C., Rockford, Ill., and Winetka, Ill.

He later held positions at the University of Northern Illinois in DeKalb, Ill., and the University of Illinois CU campus.

He retired from the University of Illinois in 2000 as associate dean for academic and business affairs College of Applied Life Studies.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; daughter, Lynda (David) DeBlanc of Metairie, La.; son, Lance (Laura) Burnam of Champaign, Ill.; daughter, Lynette (Dr. Robert) Baker of Kalamazoo Mich.; 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral will be Jan. 2. Burial will take place in the Hill City Cemetery.

To view Burnam’s personalized web page visit  

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