1920 - 2010
Burke Gordon Vanderhill died on May 24, 2010. He was born in La Porte, Indiana, on January 15, 1920, and grew up in Bellaire, Michigan where his father was a telegrapher and station agent for the Pere Marquette Railroad, later the Chesapeake and Ohio, inspiring Burke’s lifelong interest in trains and railroads as well as his love of geography. Vanderhill attended Kalamazoo College, Michigan State University (B.S, with Honors), the University of Nebraska (M.A.), and received his PhD in Geography from the University of Michigan where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force. During 1942-45, he served in the 8th Air Force near Ipswich, East Anglia, England. Upon returning to the U.S., Burke used the GI Bill to complete his degrees. He came to Tallahassee in 1950 to join the Florida State University Geography Department. Vanderhill retired in 1995 after 45 years of service to the university community. His research interests varied, but his primary focus was on the northern fringe of agricultural settlement in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and later Alaska, areas he returned to many times camping with his family.
Burke Gordon Vanderhill (Necrology). 2010. AAG Newsletter 45(10): 22.