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07/21/1946 - 07/14/2019
Bill D. Burlison, of Wardell, died at his home on March 17, 2019. He was born March 15, 1931 in Wardell, MO to the late J. I. and Lillie Marler Burlison. He and Barbara Humphreys were married on August 14, 1955 in Columbia, MO, and divorced in 1983. From that union was born three children, James David, Laura Ann, and Andrew Jefferson. On June 11, 1995, in the United States Capitol Chapel, he was united in marriage to Michal Sue Mickey Prosser, and she survives of the home.
Bill graduated from Wardell High School in 1949 where he excelled in sports activities. He had seven Academic Degrees: Southeast Missouri State University, Bachelor of Arts, 1953 University of Missouri-Columbia, Master of Education, 1956 Southeast Missouri State University, Bachelor of Science in Education, 1959 University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, Bachelor of Laws and J.D., 1956 the Catholic University of America, Master of Arts, 1993 and Washington College of Law, The American University, Master of Laws, 2005. He served as Student Government President at Southeast Missouri State University. He joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity and continued his affiliation throughout his life. He also was an adjunct professor in Business Law and American Government at four colleges and universities, Southeast Missouri State University (1963-65), George Mason University (1984), Strayer College (1984) and Anne Arundel Community College (1998). He was admitted to practice law in Missouri, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He also had been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Military Appeals, the United States District Court, and all Missouri and Maryland state courts. From 1960 to 1962, he was an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri. Bill also served as the prosecuting attorney of Cape Girardeau County for three terms (1963-1968) and during his three terms, he spent one year as the President of the Missouri Prosecuting Attorneys Association. He also served as President of the Cape Girardeau County Board of Education in 1961.
Bill served in the United States Marine Corps for three and one-half years after his graduation from law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. During his service he was Head General Courts-Martial Trial Counsel for the Second Marine Division of the Marine Corps.
Bill was a Democrat and a dedicated public servant and, following his service as prosecuting attorney in Cape Girardeau County, was elected to the United States House of Representatives in what was then the 10th Congressional District and served six terms (1969-1981) as the Congressman. He was known for his door-to-door campaign technique in which he knocked on the door of every registered voter and followed up with letters and postcards as reminders of his visits.
During his service on Capitol Hill, he was on the Committee on Agriculture, Committee on the Interior, the Committee for the District of Columbia, the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Intelligence. Bill chaired the Intelligence Subcommittee on Program and Budget and was also the Majority Regional Whip for Missouri and Iowa during his tenure in the U.S. Congress. While in Congress, he was especially concerned about issues related to agriculture, intelligence and a U.S Constitutional Amendment for the popular election of the President.
After leaving Congress he resumed the practice of law in Maryland and the District of Columbia and was elected to the Anne Arundel County Council, Maryland District 4, from December 1998 to December 2006 (chair of the Council in 2001-2002). He also served as a Member of the Anne Arundel Democratic Central Committee, 1990-2006 and served as chair, 2003-2004).
Bill was active in community affairs and was a past member of the Crofton, Maryland Kiwanis Club (past president) Division 14, Capital District Kiwanis International (past lieutenant governor) and he was founder of the Crofton Kiwanis 10K and the Odenton Kiwanis Five-Miler. He was also founder of the Crofton Runners Club. Even beyond high school, Bill continued to be very active in sports and ran eight Marine Corps Marathons. He was active in the Maryland Senior Olympics. Bill was founder and charter President of two Toastmasters Clubs The High Noon Toastmasters, Cape Girardeau, MO in 1960 and the Chesapeake Toastmasters Club in Crofton, Maryland in 1984, and was very proud that both clubs are still active today. Bill had been a member of the Marine Corps League, Cpl. Mason O. Yarbrough Detachment, #1081, Cape Girardeau, MO. Bill was also a member of the Hayti Rotary Club, Hayti, MO, and the Wardell Lions Club, Wardell, MO. Bill was Past Worshipful Master (1966) and member of St. Marks No. 93 AF & AM Masonic Lodge for 64 years in Cape Girardeau, MO. He was also affiliated as a Multiple Member with numerous Lodges in Southeast Missouri. He was a member of American Legion Post 88, Caruthersville, MO.
Bill was a member of the First Baptist Church of Crofton, Maryland, where he served on the Board of Deacons. He attended the First Baptist Church of Wardell, MO and the First Baptist Church of Delta, MO.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Ruth Meadows, a brother Woodrow Burlison, and a son-in-law, Mark Mandela.
Survivors include his wife, Michal Sue Mickey Prosser son James David (Jan) of Troy, MO daughter Laura Ann Mandela of Reston, VA son Andrew Jefferson (Cindy) of Columbia, MO six grandchildren, Anthony (Lynsey) Mandela, Geneva, NY Danielle (Ted) Tzirimis, Reston, VA Heather (Jacob) Gomez, Burke, VA Caitlyn Mandela, Reston, VA Jamie (Caitlin) Burlison, Lakewood, CO and Jessica Burlison, Columbia, MO four great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Lucas Tzirimis Kayleigh Mandela and Harper Grace Gomez Step grandchildren, Catherine Pepmiller, Knoxville, TN, Carla (Steven) Bermudez, Columbia, MO Step great-grandchildren, Maia and Lex Bermudez, and nephews nieces and other relatives as well as many friends and supporters from over the years. The family also wishes to thank Southeast Hospice for the excellent care given.
Friends may call at Morgan Funeral Home, Advance, MO on Wednesday, March 20 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., with a Masonic Rite Service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral will be on Thursday, March 21 at 12 noon at the funeral home. The Reverend Randy Conn will officiate. Burial will be at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery near Bell City with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Wardell, P. O. Box 296, Wardell, MO 63879 or the First Baptist Church of Delta, P.O. Box 818, Delta, MO 63744.
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