Dexter Alan Burlingame

Dexter ALan Burlingame

Dexter Alan Burlingame

Dexter Alan Burlingame passed away Tuesday January 6th, 2009 after a hard fought battle with cancer. The younger of two children, “Dex” was born January 27, 1933 in West Boylston, MA. After his engineering education in Maine, and a brief military career in Alaska, he settled in the Pacific Northwest to raise a family (2 boys) in the crisp Northwest air that he loved so much.

He went right to work for the Boeing Co. where he had a direct role in the development of defense systems and space exploration programs that are household names today. An avid outdoorsman, Dex spent years exploring his new world in Washington with friends and family. After 25 years he retired, for only 5 days, before undertaking his final chapter at a dairy farm where, for over 20 years, he fed and cared for over 750 cows right up until the point he couldn’t climb into the tractor anymore.

In his spare time, when he learned that his remote lake community was running out of water, he developed and helped build a complex sand filtration plant so that his neighbors would have potable water. He became a water czar, of sorts, and soon was consulting on projects up and down the Cascade Mountain range well into 2008. A man of sharp contrasts, standing there in his muddy boots & Boston Red Sox cap, he could hold a conversation about how his team designed the lunar rover to work on the moon, the best acidity for soil when growing dahlias, or why the Hubble Telescope failed the first time – all while simultaneously pulling a kitty out of his pocket, which he was taking home from the farm, because “it looked hungry”.

Dex lit up the lives of everyone he encountered. His craft was engineering. His passions were animals, sports and gardening. His love was his wife Judy, his family and his friends. His heart and soul were dedicated to helping those around him and in helping make the world a better place. While personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was ever doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his humanness, work ethic, wisdom, generosity, humor and goodwill. True to his character, he quietly went about his life’s work right up until the day he died. He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves us all with extraordinary inspiration to draw upon for the rest of our lives.

Dex was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Lila, his sister Joyce and his son Derek. Dex is survived by his wife Judy and his son Dale. A private family service was held following his passing and a celebration of Dex’s life will follow at a later date – TBA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Please visit to share photos, stories, condolences and contact information to the friends and family of Dex.

8 Responses to “Dexter Alan Burlingame”

  • Andrew Wiegand says:

    Rest in Peace Dex. But then again, you’re probably already busy at work up there, solving problems in the great beyond. I’ll think of you every time it rains.

  • David Jones says:

    Met Dex over 50 years ago and worked with him for most of his Boeing career. Dex’s middle name was fun which he created even in his work. He invited all his friends to join in the fun which many of us did, Playing baseball,basketball, bowling, water skiing,
    hunting, fishing,and partying.Loved his big smile and snappy “HI”
    what’s up. I will miss you Dex.

  • Curtis Covington says:

    Incredible man, husband, father, humanitarian and friend. Pretty good bowler too! It has been a pleasure and honor to know you; and have you in our lives. I’m sure you’ll enjoy continued success in your new environment. Take Care and know you are loved and missed.

  • Jennifer Breen says:

    Uncle Dex…always one of my favorites. So sorry I never made it out to the northwest. More sorry that you never came back east to take me to a Sox game.
    The animals have lost a great champion for them. Your family has lost a wonderful husband, father and friend.
    All who knew and loved you will miss you.


  • Ellie says:

    Class mate,brother in law,friend.My kids called him Uncle.Beautiful gardens,a member of you wedding in West Boylston.
    How time flies
    Love to Dale & the family.

  • Jim and Sharon Kasper says:

    Dex was the leader and spirit of many of the softball teams Jim played on. On top of that, the man could pitch. No matter what happened in the ballgame or the game of life, Dex always had that fabulous smile. Our two kids, Brady and Wendy, have especially fond memories of Dex at the many tournaments we played in Yakima.
    He was truly one of a kind — we’ll miss you Dexter!
    Jim and Sharon Kasper

  • Bethany Schatz King says:

    Fond memories of a one of a kind guy! My best to Dale.

  • Lynn Valois says:

    Uncle Dex….you are thought about often and missed daily. I go over all of the e-mails we passed back and forth, our mutual love for the Red Sox, your many trips back home, Toby, Gram & Gramp….and so much more. You were my special Uncle who I miss so much. Until we meet again, love always and forever, your niece, Lynn

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