Up, Up and Away Bill Burden-Area man dies at 105

By Sherry Landon


3-1-13 Burden Head ShotFor the past 105 years, my grandfather Bill Burden of Mt. Pleasant has graced this earth. He was a quiet man of little words with a giving heart. Grandpa was also an inventor, artist and a history teacher to his community. The community admired him and those who knew him loved him. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather to many. He has left his legacy alive in the hearts of his ancestors. I feel so blessed that Grandpa was here with me for 53 years and that my children and grand children had the opportunity to know him.

On Wednesday, February 27 Grandpa passed away. Grandpa was amazing; I had so much pride in him. He helped build the elementary school I attended (Ganiard), in Mt. Pleasant; late in life Grandpa served as an ambassador to the Ganiard School History project. He was involved in some of the construction at Central Michigan University, and even worked on designs and inventions of Frank Lloyd Wright homes.

He built doodlebugs, motorcycles that would seat four people and even fixed the wiper blade motors on my first car from parts of another car by making modifications. I think of grandpa as an inventor as well as an artist. He took great pictures and I remember Grandpa having some beautiful wood carvings on his living room walls, I was impressed as a young child my grandpa created something so beautiful. I was so pleased when he let me use one for reference while working on a school art project for Michigan week. I like to thing that my artistic talents came from him, handed down to my mother, then on to me. Grandpa will be missed, but remain in my heart and talents forever.

In celebration of Bill Burdens 104th Birthday, his Great Granddaughter Sarrah (Landon) Smith took a wonderful picture of him on the bridge at Mill Pond Park on the west side of Mt. Pleasant. Bill said in an interview with CMLife that they were trying to send him to heaven. Up Up and away he finally went on February 27, 2013