Dr. Virginia S. Burlingame (1930-2019)

                Dr. Virginia S. Burlingame passed away on November 2, 2019. She was born on March 30, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. Virginia lived most of her life in Racine. However, she lived in many different places during her lifetime. She has lived in the cities of Madison Wisconsin, Sarasota Florida and Scottsdale Arizona.

                She is survived by her son John P. Burlingame, son-in-law John Sexton, granddaughter Jasmyne M. Blank, great grandchildren Haylee, Miguel, Andres and Julian.

                She was preceded in death by her sister Pauline Sims, father Paul Sims, mother Pauline Sims, ex-husband L. J. Burlingame and her daughter Elizabeth B. Sexton.

                Dr. Burlingame attended schools in Chicago, received a bachelor’s degree from Blackburn College, MSW from Boston University and Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She attended fellowships in Gerontology and Geriatrics from the University’s of Wisconsin, Marquette and Stanford University.

                For over 40 years, she touched the lives of many persons through her counseling as a social worker and as a counseling psychologist and later in her teachings and directing the WI Gerontology Institute at UW-Parkside. She was the recipient of many awards including Phi Delta Kappa, outstanding career in social work from Boston University (1996) and 2006 Excellence in Teaching and Faculty Service from the Midwest University Continuing Education Association. She was elected to Who’s Who in American Universities (1980) and Who’s Who in American Women (1983).

                She made many contributions to the Racine community-often as an innovator. She founded or co-founded the Women’s Symphony League, The Racine County Neighborhood Centers, the Racine Area of Geriatric Assessment Center, the Wisconsin Gerontology Institute, Adventures in Lifelong Learning and several groups at her local church in Racine. She served on numerous community, school and church boards and committees and participated in the early civil rights, Woman’s Rights, antiwar, and gay rights movements. She was a dual member of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Church in Racine since (1960) and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota.

                Her avocation was writing and she attended various writing groups and classes including two summers at the Summer’s Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. She is the published author of: Gerocounseling, Counseling Elders and Their Families (1995) and Ethnogerocounseling, Counseling Ethnic Elders and their Families (1999) and a novel, A Window Bed (2011). From 1990-2000, she wrote a monthly column, Artful Ageing for The Racine Journal Times.

                She prided in calling herself a progressive and religious liberal. “Leave this world better than you found it” was a motto she shared with her Cub and Girl Scout Troops.

                A Memorial Service will be held at The Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church of Racine, 625 College Avenue on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at 11:00 AM.


  1. Our deepest sympathy to the family. Ginny was a valued and loved member of our congregation. We missed her when she moved away. She was a grand lady and a friend to all.

  2. Mark and Courtney Marlaire November 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Ginny was a valued teacher, mentor, and most importantly a dear friend.She will be terribly missed by those us who knew her. Ginny had a stellar career in her professional life and in her public service. We have known only a very few persons as special as Virginia.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *