John H. Burdakin ’47
Date posted: September 26, 2014, 11:06 am
John Howard Burdakin was born August 11, 1922, in Milton, Massachusetts, to L. Richard and Martha (Rogers) Burdakin. He graduated from MIT in 1947 after completing military service and married Jean Moulton on October 2, 1948 in Milton, Massachusetts. They lived in 16 cities in 23 years as Mr. Burdakin’s career advanced with the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1960–’61, Mr. Burdakin managed the Panama Canal Railroad in the Canal Zone for 15 months. The Burdakins moved to Michigan in 1970, and Mr. Burdakin served as president of the Detroit-based Grand Trunk Western from 1974 to 1986 before retiring as vice-chairman of Grand Trunk Corporation in 1987.
In 1992, Mr. Burdakin became the first railroader to be inducted into the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Hall of Honor. He and his wife lived in Bloomfield Hills, where they were longtime members of the Northbrook Presbyterian Church and Bloomfield Hills Country Club. They spent 20 winters in Naples, Florida. Mr. Burdakin volunteered at William Beaumont Hospital and served on the hospital’s Board of Trustees for many years.
The Burdakins moved to Colorado Springs in 2010. Mr. Burdakin moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in October 2013. Mr. Burdakin was dearly loved by the family he cherished.