Deceased March 4, 2017
Burt died of Alzheimer’s on March 4, 2017, at his home in Austinburg, Ohio. He was born in Easthampton, Mass., in 1929 and went to Williston Academy. At Amherst he played varsity soccer, was literature editor of Touchstone and my brother in Kappa Theta. He was magna cum laude in English and Phi Beta Kappa.
His passion for literature was manifested in two ways: a lifelong talent for bawdy poetry (never, alas, published) and a gift for teaching, first at Western Reserve Academy and then for 31 years at Shaker Heights (Ohio) High School. There he was known as a brilliant, enthusiastic and strict mentor for his students, many of whom testified to how they were inspired by him; he was a true product of the Eng Lit team of Baird, Elliott, Brower, Barber and Craig.
Burt, who was in my 1951 wedding to Breezy Evans of Shaker Heights, met her friend Jean Ossman (Wellesley ’51) and married her in 1952. They both taught at Shaker until retirement in 1982 and then moved to a country home in northeast Ohio to raise vegetables, but Jean contracted cancer and died in 1984. Burt carried on alone, specializing in prize-winning elephant garlic, a good totem for a man of pungent tastes and a private lifestyle.
Kingsley Smith ’50