Dr. L. Gerald Bursey

Born: Sun., Jan. 1, 1928
Died: Wed., Jul. 2, 2014


11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Wed., Jul. 16, 2014
Location: Forsyth Chapel, Forest Hills Cemetery

Funeral Service

12:00 PM Wed., Jul. 16, 2014
Location: Forsyth Chapel, Forest Hills Cemetery

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Music by The Piano Brothers

L. Gerald Bursey of Newtonville, a scholar and iconic professor of political science at
Northeastern University for over 53 years until his retirement in January, passed away
peacefully on July 2 after a brief illness.
Professor Bursey, the beloved son of the late Rev. Dr. Harold and Constance (Norman)
Bursey, was born in Montreal on January 1, 1928. A voracious reader from an early
age, he began his scholarly path at 14 when he was hired by the Montreal Star to write
book reviews. After graduating with highest honors from McGill University, Professor
Bursey entered Harvard University’s Department of Government, where he received his
PhD under the supervision of the legendary William Y. Elliot. Reflecting upon his long
career, Professor Bursey often spoke of two events of which he was most proud. The
first was an invitation to deliver a lecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece,
the namesake of which he called the first true political scientist. Professor Bursey noted
that while Aristotle certainly didn’t have all the answers, he knew the key to finding
those answers was never to shy away from asking hard, probing questions. He
regretted that such intellectual honesty seemed long-ago to have faded from our
discourse. The second was watching Northeastern grow from a commuter school in the
early 1960’s to the internationally prestigious academic institution it has become today.
He hoped he played some small role in that evolution.
Professor Bursey is survived by two aunts, Jennie Doughty of Marshfield and Joan
Herder of Newfoundland; and two cousins, Doris Crary and her husband, Dennis
Badore, of Scituate, and Judith Malich and her husband, Kenneth Malich, of Colorado.
Friends, family and colleagues are invited to attend services at the Forsyth Chapel,
Forest Hills Cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Ave., Forest Hills, MA on Wednesday July 16, 2014. A wake is at 11:00, followed by a
service at 12:00. Memorial services will be held on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in the Oceanside Inn, 8 Oceanside Drive, Scituate and on September 18, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.,
at the Sacred Space, 200 Ell Building, Northeastern University, . In lieu of flowers,
please donate to Department of Political Science Gift Fund, 301 Meserve Hall,
Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115.

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