Richard W. Burnett
ONEONTA — Richard W. Burnett, 96, died June 30, 2014, at his home in The Plains of Parish Homestead Independent Living Apartments in Oneonta.
He was born Dec. 3, 1917, in Oswego, the son of Robert and Agnes (Jones) Burnett. He was a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Harvard University.
An avid sailor, he won the Rhode Island Junior Championship Cup and was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame for outstanding performance in sailing. He studied French in Paris at the British Institute and German at Munich University.
During World War II he served with the the U.S. Army in Europe as an interpreter, speaking German and French.
He taught philosophy at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and then became a farmer, raising starter pullets in a three-story chicken house on Charlotte Creek Road in West Davenport.
He married Ruth Pitkin on May 22, 1943, at West Roxbury, Mass.
He was an assessor for the town of Davenport, a trustee and treasurer of the Charlotte Valley Cemetery, long time member of the West Davenport Methodist Church, and treasurer of the Center for Continuing Adult Learning (CCAL) in Oneonta.
For years, he and Ruth grew blueberries, raspberries and many vegetables in their large garden.
He is survived by two daughters, Nancy Burnett of Unadilla, and Marjorie Burnett of Arlington, Va.; two granddaughters, Sarah Day of Yarmouth, Maine, and Abigail Rowe of Newport, R.I.; four great-grandchildren, Barbara and Henley Day and Adelaide and Evelyn Rowe; a sister, Marian Wilcox of Rochester, his loving companion, Anna Elwyn; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Ruth; and daughter, Barbara Campbell; as well as his brother, Robert E. Burnett; and sisters, Jane (Burnett) Wheelock and Mildred (Burnett) St. John.
His body was donated to the Anatomical Gift Program of the Albany Medical College. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Catskill Area Hospice, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820 or to the West Davenport United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 100, West Davenport, NY 13860-0100.