Donald P. Burrell, 88, passed away on Sunday, February 5, surrounded by his family in Landmark Medical Center, Woonsocket, RI, after a short illness. He was the husband of Joyce E. (Mitchell) Burrell, of East Bridgewater, MA, and resided lately in North Smithfield, RI, and Marshfield, MA.
Born in Brockton, MA., he was the son of the late Lawrence K. and Evelina D. (Phillips) Burrell, and graduated from East Bridgewater High School. He served in the United States Army during World War II in the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper and radio operator. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1952, and was a member of the Engineering Honor Society and served as President of the Engineering Club.
Donald was employed by General Electric for his entire career, developing manufacturing and robotic systems in Burlington, VT, Allentown, PA, Waynesboro, VA, Monroe, CT, Warwick, RI, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Donald gave generously of his time as a volunteer for many organizations including Junior Achievement, and taught scuba diving to inner city youth in Bridgeport with the Connecticut Underwater Diving Association. He was a lifelong snorkeler and fisherman, gardener, hiker and conservationist, with a deep love and knowledge of botany and wildlife, discovering and protecting many populations of endangered plants. He spent much of every summer at his family’s summer house in Brant Rock, MA, teaching generations of young relatives to love and respect the ocean and the natural world.
In addition to his wife of sixty-three years, Joyce, he is survived by his daughters Donna L. Burrell of Shreveport, LA, Jo-Ellen Tramontana of Cumberland, RI, and Marilee Burrell, of Woodbury, CT, daughter-in-law Jane Eggerstedt, MD, and son-in-law Charles Tramontana.
He is also survived by his sister, Louise K. (Burrell) Talbot of Needham, MA, and preceded in death by his sister Mary E. (Burrell) Ranney and brother Stafford I. Burrell. Many younger generations of cousins, nieces, and nephews were supported, taught, and deeply loved by “Uncle Don.” He will be greatly missed.
A private ceremony will be held in the summer at the family plot in East Bridgewater, MA.