Cover photo for Burman H. Lorenson's Obituary
Burman H. Lorenson Profile Photo

Burman H. Lorenson

d. February 22, 2023

Greeley Colorado



Burman Henry Lorenson of Greeley Colorado, 89 passed away surrounded by family on February 22, 2023, after a year-long battle with cancer. Born in Kansas City Missouri on August 14, 1933, Burman graduated high school in nearby Independence in 1951. After high school, he joined the National Guard and the US Air Force (1952-1956). In 1956, Burman married Mary Ruth Harris while serving as Airman First Class and electronics instructor at Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado. They settled in Denver where their family lovingly grew from two to five after the birth of their three children. Beginning in 1956, Burman studied business management and civil engineering at the University of Colorado and began his career in aerial mapping and civic planning. He made maps for the Army Map Service of locales in Afghanistan and China. He often referred to the vicarious nature of seeing places he had never been to as being like the fictional character, Walter Mitty. Burman's career took the family to Greeley in 1970, where he became the Weld County Planning Director through 1975. Being red headed earned him the nickname "The Red Baron" from his staff for his acumen of shooting down bad ideas. His work caught the eye of newly elected Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, who convinced Burman to take on planning for the rapid expansion of communities nearby rapidly growing energy developments. By 1978 Burman was doing this at the federal level for the Mountain-Plains six-state region including Colorado. Burman continued this work until his professional retirement in 1986. He and Ruth purchased a local business that he operated until 1999. As a practical environmentalist, he promoted sustainable energy, and believed in living wisely within the means of what the earth could provide for people. He exemplified this by planting drought tolerant landscaping, driving an electric vehicle, installing solar panels, making his home energy efficient and leaving a light footprint. Burman was an avid competitor who always enjoyed a good card game like no other. He won numerous trophies and awards for basketball and table tennis in his youth which blossomed into state championships in table tennis at the Senior Games. He was also a talented artist who enjoyed painting in watercolor, winning awards at local fairs. He was a man with a well-developed sense of humor and especially enjoyed making puns, or as he would tell you "Punish you" with a big Burmanesque grin. He and Ruth took many trips throughout the US and Europe pursuing genealogy, meeting longtime pen pals, and making new friends. After the passing of Ruth in 2015, he met Barbara Reale also of Greeley, and they became loving companions. They enjoyed numerous Road Scholar trips around the country, attending High-Plains Chautauqua, historical sites, cultural events, and many other ways of learning from travel. At home, a challenging jigsaw puzzle was always on the table. Social events and friends were found at the Greeley Senior Center and morning coffee at McDonalds. Burman was preceded in death by his mother Nora (Mary) Houston, and loving wife of 59 years, Mary Ruth Lorenson (Harris). He is survived by: Companion Barbara Reale, sister Mary Ann (JR), children Jennifer Woolley, Thomas Lorenson (Deb), and Eric Lorenson; Grandchildren Jessica, David, Miranda, Aren, and Alex; Great grandchildren Kira, Noah, and Micah. sister-in-law Wilma Wilkinson. Burman was loved by so many and will be dearly missed. He was a loving husband and father who instilled in others the beneficial life values such as cooperation, loyalty, and independence along with ways to achieve it. He lived his life according to his principles and would often say he was "The master of his fate and the captain of his soul." We wish him fair winds and following seas, on his next journey. Interment of Cremains were held 1:00 PM on Sunday June 4, 2023 at the High Point Cemetery, Buffalo, Oklahoma.  In lieu of flowers please send contributions to the Greeley Senior Center or the Aims Community College Ruth Lorenson Scholarship Fund.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Interment of cremains

Sunday, June 4, 2023

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

High Point Cemetery

Buffalo, OK 73834


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