Elmer Al Burdick

Elmer (Al) Burdick, age 86, of Northfield, passed away with his loving family by his side on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at the Northfield Retirement Center.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 6, 2012 from 4 to 7 pm at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield.  Funeral services and military honors will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Elmer Martin “Al” Burdick was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 17, 1926, the youngest of 4 children born to Harry and Alice (Lebring) Burdick.  He grew up in Detroit and joined the United States Navy in 1944 on his 18th birthday. He took his training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois and then transferred to the Seabees base in Port Hueneme, California for Amphibious training. During World War II Al was assigned to ACORN 34 (Aviation, Ordinance, Radio & Radar Navigation.)  That unit of the Seabees was sent ahead of Airwing 17 to construct runways and bases for the aircraft on Clark Air Base located on the island of Luzon, Philippines.  At the end of 1945 his unit traveled to Manila to rebuild those areas.  He was discharged in 1946, and reenlisted in the Naval Reserves from 1947 to 1949.

Al met his wife Patricia (Smith) in 1949 and they were married in 1951.  During this period Al worked for UPS.  In 1955 he reenlisted to active duty and remained in the Navy until his retirement in 1973 to the Naval Fleet Reserve.  While in the Navy, Al was stationed at Grosse Ile, MI, Los Alamitos, CA, NAS Twin Cities, MN and Selfridge Air Base near Mt. Clemens, MI.  He and Pat settled in California after his retirement.   Al was able to pursue one of his favorite hobbies, electronics, which became his second career for the next 18 years with General Electric.  Not liking to remain idle for any length of time, after his second retirement, Al worked many odd jobs including bartending at the Elks Lodge and VFW in Adalanto, California, and driving RV’s across country for buyers. During one of his many trips Al discovered he loved the hill country of Texas and settled there for the next 13 years. He enjoyed fishing, dancing, swimming, ice skating, boating, bowling, football, working in the yard and around the house.  He loved traveling back and forth across the country.  He loved meeting new people and he loved life.  Al moved back to Minnesota in 2009.

Survivors include his four children: Pamela Farmer of Burnsville, MN Steven Burdick of Running Springs, CA, Carol (Jim) Bailey of Dennison, MN and Kathleen (Chris) Bell of Garden Grove, CA; six grandchildren, Kristine, Sharon, April, Mary, Pattie and Donna; nine great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 34 years Patricia, his parents, his sisters, Wilma and Hilda, and brother Harry.

Funeral arrangements are by the Bierman Funeral Home.