Burdett Loomis, 76, Lawrence, passed away Saturday, September 25, 2021, at his home, surrounded by family, following a bout with cancer. He was a longtime professor of political science at the University of Kansas and a well-respected election analyst. He also contributed locally to the arts.
Born June 14, 1945, in New York City, NY, Loomis began his career at KU in the late 1970’s and worked there for more than 40 years. Before that he worked at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison as a visiting professor, according to KU’s website. He also held positions as director of administrative communication for former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and as interim director of the Robert J. Dole Institute for Public Service and Public Policy from 1997 to 2001.
Local survivors include his wife Michel, his son Dakota, and two grandchildren.
Messages & Condolences
What a devastating loss Burd’s passing is for the Loomis family and all who new and reaped the rewards of his nobility, wisdom and love. . . We are so very grateful to know the Loomis family and Burd, the patriarch. We are sorry we will be out of town and unable to attend the memorial celebration of his life.
Hi, Michel, this is so late I don’t know if you will get it, but it is worth a try. I just heard (from Mary Kleinschmidt Hilden) of Bird’s passing. It was so great to see him at Vanderbilt at a Political Science conference in 2019 (I think). He seemed the same as ever, despite the many intervening years. It sounds like you have nearby family and a wonderful community to support you. My sincere condolences and best wishes, Jennifer
Very sad to hear………..it was just 5 short years ago Coach Bird joined us in celebrating the induction of our Knox College Men’s 1979 Soccer Team into the Knox Hall of Fame. He was the same ole guy, happy to buy drinks and have a great time. Fond memories, and he will be missed.
The Woodward family sends condolences for your loss. Burdett was highly respected in the KU and Lawrence community and will be deeply missed. I always remember my father (Fred) speaking fondly of Burdett and he loved to tell me that he “Saw Burdett and your gym teacher out at dinner tonight.”
So sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.
Michel and family. My heart is with you all during this time. He loved you all dearly and will be so very missed. Sending love.
Oh Michel, my heart is broken for you and Dakota. Words fail at such a time as this. Bird’s calm, clarifying voice in the midst of political storms will continue to speak but his presence will be sorely missed. He truly brought light into the world and was a powerful voice for justice.
I met Bird when he was the visiting Fulbright scholar at Flinders University, South Australia, in 2012. My wife, Hazel and I became good friends with Bird and Michelle and stayed with them in Lawrence and they hosted us to ‘their’ love of New Orleans in 2015. Bird was a man of great spirit, generosity and insight into political life of the US. I will sorely miss our email discussions of both our countries political machinations. The prospect of enjoying conversation and a glass of wine are now so suddenly dashed…. our heartfelt condolences to Michelle and the family. Haydon and Hazel Manning
Michel, Dakota, family and friends, I’m so sorry for your loss. Burdett was such a fantastic human-being; always kind, generous, and giving of spirit. May catharsis from such awful grief visit you in good time. My heart is broken for you.
Dear Michel, I am filled with gratitude for you and Bird. You two were the best neighbors, so kind to our family, loving and entertaining the rambunctious 2 year old Tim, and then baby George. So as a non academic, I can say, Bird was just one fantastic friend, husband and father. Michel, I am sending you a big hug and eventual peace. 🕊 Thank you for your compassion and love. Didi
Michel, so sorry to hear Bird passed away. Thoughts and prayers for you, Dakota and family at this difficult time. He will be missed. So sorry for your loss!
My condolences to Mrs Loomis and Dakota.
Condolences to family. I knew Burdett from our days at Knox College when he was the soccer coach and I was the cross-country coach.
So sad to hear of Burdett’s passing. It will be personal loss to family and friends, but a loss also to the community were he was so resspected for his political commentary. I did not know Burdett as a professor or commentator, but rather as a great Dad to a precocious young son at Pinckney School. Dakota, Michel and family , I will be sending thoughts and prayers for your comfort and healing.
Michel and family, my condolences to you. “Bird” was like family to me, for a black person like me, I wanted him as a chief of Police, in every juror duty; congress; the white house; and you name it. His “civil rights seat”, has been left empty!. Ran into Bird in August 2021 downtown Mass street, did not know he was sick, he appeared low in mood and decided to leave him alone. Never knew, it would be the last time a seen him… How I mourn “Bird” with hysteria!. I lost a guarantor!.
Michel, Dakota – Bird was the best. I always loved hearing him on the radio when I couldn’t see you guys and much as I used to. Great memories working for you guys. He’ll be remembered.
I share with you the feeling of loss and we join the family in the mourning.
Michelle, I was so shocked and saddened to hear of the loss that your family has suffered. Bird was truly one of a kind. I don’t remember seeing him without a great big smile on his face and I’ll always remember him telling me his first campaign promise “ to wear long pants to class”. He was an amazing man. You and your family are in my thoughts. Bless you all.
My sincerest condolences to the family. Wishing you peace and comfort.
Dear Michel, Dakota, and little grandchildren,
We are all sad to hear this news and sending love. We remember all of you so fondly.
Dorothea, Gordon, Eric, Mara, and Elizabeth Anderson
My deepest condolences to Michel, Dakota, and family over this devastating loss. Sending Love, and peace.
I was so sorry to hear about Bird’s passing. He was such a good friend to the ACLU of Kansas. He gave so much of himself to freedom, justice, and making Kansas a better state. All of us who knew him will miss his kindness, wit, and wisdom. We send our sincerest condolences to Michel and the Loomis family.
Michel, Please accept my deepest condolences. This comes as a complete surprise. He had so much more to give–his passing far too soon.
We are simply in shock over the news of Bird’s death. Our hearts are heavy with grief. Sending you and family our love and condolences.
Stunned & sad to learn of Burdett’s passing. Nelson & I have frequently talked that we look forward to getting through this COVID time & seeing you both downtown. We didn’t know Burd was ill. He was one of a kind & will be deeply missed. Hugs & love to Michel & Dakota & family.
Condolences to Michel, Dakota and family,So very sorry for your loss.
Wonderful man. Great friend. Michel love to you and Dakota.
Burdett was an ideal professor in every respect. He was known nationally for his research and skill in political science and equally valued in the classroom. Many a student sought him as an advisor and mentor. As well as he served his profession, he also loved and served the University of Kansas community. He was known for his advice and counsel to many a politician as well as his commentary and analysis of our contemporary political scene. I valued our friendship and with the entire KU family will greatly miss his presence among us.
Bird was not only a great colleague and a lovely guy but also hugely energetic as a congressional scholar and analyst of Kansas state politics.
Maggie and I will miss him greatly. Our love to Michel, Dakota and family. A great loss to all who knew him. And so young at 76.
Michel, Dakota and family, our sincere condolences. Words aren’t adequate at this time. Blessings!
Condolences family, so sorry for your loss. Wrapping you in a blanket of peace and comfort
Very sorry to read this and hopeful that you find peace in loving, joyful memories.
Messages are closed.