George Burrow (Father)


Mr. Burrow's father, George Burrow, was born in 1921 near Sumner (Fayette County), Iowa. A major influence on his life was growing up on a farm during the Great Depression. He joined the Army and fought in the Pacific during World War II. His unit was one of the first to visit newly-recaptured islands. They secured the areas before other troops moved in. By the war's end he had been promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. [The diary George kept while preparing to go overseas is available here.]

After the war George Burrow went to college through the G.I. Bill. Like many in his generation, he concentrated in the sciences--eventually earning a master's degree in physics. He worked closely with some of the scientists who were involved in the Manhattan Project, particularly Frank Oppenheimer, who went on to found San Francisco's Exploratorium.  For a time he worked at the prestigious Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. These experiences probably helped make him a strong supporter of peaceful uses for nuclear energy.

George Burrow got a teacher's certificate and, because science teachers were in short supply in the 1950s and 60s, he used that license (in his own words) "as a way to see the country". Throughout the '50s and '60s he taught in various places in Idaho, Texas, Colorado, California, Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa. His daughter Margaret remembered moving almost every year throughout her childhood, as her dad went from school to school.

Eventually George became the Director of Media Services for Area Education Agency 16, which was then located in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. (It later moved to Ft. Madison and then Burlington, where it was called Great River AEA.  The state then merged it with another region to create Great Prairie AEA.)  He had almost no formal qualifications for this job, but he enjoyed it and and excelled at it.

George Burrow died in a freak accident while working for the AEA in December, 1983. He is buried near his parents in a small cemetery north of Sumner, Iowa.


George & Betty Burrow
George and Betty Burrow at their Wedding -- 1946


George Burrow as a teacher in 1952


AEA 16
George Burrow, working at AEA 16 in the 1980s


***** Links to other sites on the Web

* NEXT PAGE (Betty Burrow)
* George Burrow's World War II Diary
* The Great Depression
* Education and the G.I. Bill
* Frank Oppenheimer
* Okinawa, Japan
* Argonne National Laboratories
* Burley, Idaho
* Pagosa Springs, Colorado
* Barstow, California
* Iowa City, Iowa
* New Lenox, Illinois
* El Paso, Texas
* Port Byron, Illinois
* Bemidji, Minnesota
* Great Prairie Area Education Agency (the successor to Area 16)