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Obituary - William C. Burleson, 63

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 22 - March 2, 1995

William C. "Bill" Burleson died Sunday, Feb. 26. During his 30 years with the university, he was involved with writing and editing a variety of publications. His duties had centered on Virginia Cooperative Extension since 1978.

"His service to Extension has been totally unconditional," said Charlie Stott, head of Extension Communications. "He always did more than his share, often twice the work in half the time."

Burleson's responsibilities included editing Virginia Extension, a quarterly magazine, Cloverview, a quarterly 4-H magazine, and Extension Update, a newsletter of legislative happenings.

Burleson joined Virginia Tech's University News Bureau as a director in 1965. Before joining Extension, he was responsible for the Daily Bulletin and Weekly Calendar and On Campus, a weekly newsletter. He also worked with university radio programs, the alumni publication, annual reports, speech writing, and other public relations activities.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Burleson graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1955. He received a master's degree from Virginia Tech in 1983.

His writing career began in the military in 1955, and he served in various posts in Georgia as a public information representative. Later, he was an editor with the Canton (Ohio) Repository, business editor for the Lynchburg News, and a writer and business editor for the Roanoke World News.

Burleson served on the University Committee on International Programs, as a fellow in the Center for Volunteer Development, and as chairman of the State Food and Agriculture Council Information Committee. For more than 10 years, he was a member of the University Special Programs and Governor's Day committees and was ex-officio member of University Council.

He was past chairman of Press and Critique and Awards committees of Agricultural Communicators in Education (ACE), and won writing awards in that organization. He was a member of the program committee for Southern Extension Editors and delivered papers at regional and national meetings.

A leader in the Blacksburg Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Burleson also held office in many community organizations, including the United Fund, Cancer Crusade, Civitan, and Warm Hearth Village. He also served many roles in the Blacksburg Sports Club, and seldom missed a meeting.

Burleson is survived by his wife, Patricia Bailey Burleson, his childhood friend whom he married in 1957. Also surviving are a son, daughter, and a grandson.