Burdett Loomis

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

From Steve Laudel...

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.

From Kate Woodward Vanderpool...

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.”

From Vickie Lowe...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.

From Carol Dobbins...

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.

From Sharron Witters...

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.

From Haydon Manning...

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

From Stanci March...

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.

From Didi Virden Raxworthy...

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

From Mary Lou Almanza...

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!

From Lisa Rooney...

My condolences to Mrs Loomis and Dakota.

From Dick Lipsey...

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.

From Gloria Jacob...

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.

From Quinn...

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!.

From David Root...

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.

From David Wilkinson...

I share with you the feeling of loss and we join the family in the mourning.

From Jeremy Furse...

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.

From Debbie Nuss...

My sincerest condolences to the family. Wishing you peace and comfort.

From Dorothea Anderson...

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

From Anne Underwood...

My deepest condolences to Michel, Dakota, and family over this devastating loss. Sending Love, and peace.

From Karen Casebolt...

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.

From Pam Eglinski...

Michel, Please accept my deepest condolences. This comes as a complete surprise. He had so much more to give–his passing far too soon.

From Patsy Taylor Houston...

Dearest Michel,
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.

From Judy & Nelson...

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.

From Corinne Gilges...

Condolences to Michel, Dakota and family,So very sorry for your loss.

From John Wilson...

Wonderful man. Great friend. Michel love to you and Dakota.

From David Ambler...

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.

From John and Maggie Owens...

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.

From Ginger Bartley Wilkins...

Michel, Dakota and family, our sincere condolences. Words aren’t adequate at this time. Blessings!

From Rebecca Moeller...

Condolences family, so sorry for your loss. Wrapping you in a blanket of peace and comfort

From Michelle Mailand...

Very sorry to read this and hopeful that you find peace in loving, joyful memories.

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