Dr. Allison L. Burdick Jr., 94, died peacefully on Nov. 6, 2018. Born to Dr. Allison L. Burdick Sr. MD and Adelaide Burdick (Bartholf) on June 7, 1924, he grew up in the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago and graduated from Austin High School and the University of Illinois Medical School. He married his high school sweetheart, Beatrice (Bea) King, in June of 1946 in Chicago where they raised four children. Following medical school, he served as a medical doctor for the Navy at Great Lakes Naval Academy, as well as in San Diego and Albuquerque, and completed residencies at Hines VA hospital and West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park.
When he returned from military service in 1952, he joined his father in private practice on the West Side of Chicago for 19 years. He also had a vision of educating future “family” doctors and served as professor in the Department of Family Practice at Rush Medical University.
As a pioneer in Illinois and national Family Practice medicine, he worked to save the “family” doctor” in medicine and became one of the founding fathers of the family medicine movement in the United States.
In 1971, he established one of the country’s first residency programs for in-depth training in family medicine at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park. In a ceremony in 2009, with nearly 100 graduates from all over the country in attendance, the West Suburban Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program was officially named the A.L. Burdick Family Medicine Center, to honor his legacy. To date, over 250 new physicians have graduated from this program.
A member of the American Board of Family Practice for years, he also held several offices on the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians and served as president in 1970-71. He held numerous positions with the Illinois State Medical Society and was president of the Aux Plaines Branch of the Chicago Medical Society in 1968.
He and Bea were members of various yacht clubs and tennis clubs over the years and he once sailed his boat across Lake Michigan to his summer home on White Lake in Whitehall, Michigan. A family man, he was very proud of his children and grandchildren’s achievements.
Al Burdick was preceded in death by Bea, his wife of 71 years, in October of 2016. He is survived by his children, Stephanie Kennington, Susan Merz (Bob), Bradley Burdick (Linda), and Robert Burdick (Alison). He will be missed by his eight grandchildren, Brandon, Alison, Scott, Kimberly, Marissa, Jenna, Mallory and Collin, as well as nine great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life Memorial, for family and friends, will be held on Dec. 2 between 4 and 7 p.m. at the 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park, IL 60301. Remarks at 5:30 p.m.