Burleigh Cruikshank Jr. (Pete) '53
Deceased May 1, 2014
Pete Cruikshank passed away May 1, 2014, in Williamsburg, Va., from complications of severe respiratory disease.
Pete and Nan (Smith ’54), his wife of 50 years until her death in 2004, were true partners in providing 25 years of extraordinary volunteer services in the Williamsburg area—a tradition that Pete continued after Nan’s death. They were presidents of the United Way of Greater Williamsburg and founders and stalwart leaders of volunteer programs in community service and adult literacy. In 1993 they were the first recipients of an annual award for community service—which is named the Cruikshank Award in their honor. This year, shortly after Pete’s death, the Virginia Senate issued a resolution commending Pete and Nan’s lifetime of community service.
Pete grew up in suburban Philadelphia, the son of a Presbyterian minister who had been an All-American football player at Washington and Jefferson College. Pete attended Deerfield Academy before coming to Amherst with three other Deerfield classmates, including his best friend for life, Jack Walter. At Amherst Pete majored in American studies, captained the lacrosse and squash teams and served as president of Alpha Delta Phi.
After graduation Pete completed Navy Officers Candidates School and served two years as an LST (Landing Ship, Tank) officer, then two more as an instructor at the Naval Academy Prep School. He earned an M.B.A. at Harvard Business School in 1960 and held management positions at the Gillette Co. for 20 years. Then Pete moved to Williamsburg in 1978, working as vice president of human resources for and with Chuck Longsworth ’51, chairman of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Many appreciated Pete’s strong work ethic.
Pete is survived by his and Nan’s children, William, Andrew, Barbara and Molly; their spouses; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. The class sends its sympathy to them all.
Phil Ransom ’53
In June of 1953 those returning Alums who were celebrating their 50th reunion looked incredibly old; no wonder, they graduated in 1903! Thank God we haven’t aged the way they did!
During the past 50 years I spent:
- 4 years as a Naval Officer – 2 abroad an L.S.T. – 2 as an instructor at The Naval Academy Prep School
- 1 year as an instructor at The University School in Cleveland, Ohio.
- 2 years at the Harvard Business School
- 19 years in the management of The Gillette Company
- 16 years as V.P. of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
- 3 years as an Outplacement Consultant
And together with Nan, my wife for 49 years, we served:
- On the Vestry and senior Wardens of Burton Parish Church
- As Presidents of the United Way of Greater Williamsburg
- As program coordinators for the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Institute
- In the community through our volunteer work on boards and social service agencies
Along the way we have been blessed with four wonderful children: Bill a PhD at Boston University Hospital, Bunny an MD in Jacksonville, Florida, Andy in Human Resources with Fidelity Investments and Molly on leave from her Human Resource job at Kingsmill Resorts in Virginia to have twin girls. In total we have eleven wonderful grandchildren.
Now we are looking forward to joining with all of you and to returning to that special place that played such an important role in establishing our foundation for the past 50 years.