Cover photo for Michael Philip Burley's Obituary
Michael Philip Burley Profile Photo
1935 Michael 2011

Michael Philip Burley

April 26, 1935 — September 29, 2011

Michael Philip Burley, 76, of Brookline, MA and Christmas Cove, ME, passed away on Thursday, September 29, 2011 in Boston. He was the husband of True McDonald Burley.

He was born in Freeport, IL on April 26, 1935, the son of Robert Maxwell Burley and Florence Schwenke Burley. Due to his father's career and his own health situation, he lived in various places around the country before the family settled in Concord, MA in 1952. He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Business School. As part of the Harvard College class of 1957, he was a member of the Harvard Glee Club, the Speakers Club and the Hasty Pudding Club.

Mr. Burley was married to True McDonald at Harvard's Memorial Church in 1969. After living in Boston, they settled in Brookline where they raised their three daughters. Subsequent to running his own financial advisory firm for a number of years (Burley, Harkins & Funk), he worked as a senior financial officer for several local banking institutions, including the Brookline Trust Company, Patriot Bank and the Boston Bank of Commerce (which became OneUnited Bank). He retired as the Senior Vice President and Treasurer of OneUnited Bank. For many years until its sale, Mr. Burley was also a Director of Boston Insulated Wire (BIW), the wire and cable company founded by his grandfather, Harry Benjamin Burley, also of Brookline.

A lifelong sailor and long-time member of the Boston Yacht Club, he sailed his boat "Wild Turkey" for many years out of Marblehead, MA. Until several years ago, before moving the boat permanently to Maine, he made an annual trip up the coast to enjoy summers sailing out of Christmas Cove. This was a wonderful voyage experienced and enjoyed by his three daughters, siblings, many of his nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.

In addition to sailboats, Mr. Burley had a passion for old trains (model and life-size) and old cars. He was known for his attachment to old American convertibles and in fact refused to drive anything but a rickety convertible until recent years.

Along with his wife, Mr. Burley enjoyed musical pursuits and performances. As an undergraduate at Harvard, he was an enthusiastic member of the Harvard Glee Club and for many years he and his wife sang together in the Concord Chorus, for which he also served as volunteer treasurer. He relished a trip to the opera, a good Gilbert & Sullivan show, and any performance of his daughters, with whom he shared this love of music.

Mr. Burley was from a family with deep New England roots. In the 1700s, his ancestors acquired land and settled in Epping, New Hampshire where his family has owned a farm continuously for 259 years, and where he spent his summers as a child. He was passionate about Boston and New England history. In particular, he was a serious student of early American silversmiths from the area.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his three daughters, Sarah Burley Reid and husband Douglas Gordon Reid of New York, NY, Susannah Rose Burley of Denver, CO, Alice Duncan Burley of Boston, MA; his siblings Sarah Page Birkett and husband James of Nobleboro, ME, Belinda Burley Dapice and husband David of Concord, MA, Juliet Elizabeth Burley-Mason and husband Shipley of Newburyport, MA, and Thomas Cilley Burley of Billerica, MA. Mr. Burley also leaves his granddaughter Annabel True Bartlett Reid, many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and cousins.

Private service and interment will be in the Burley Family Cemetery in Epping, NH.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to:
Rotary International's Polio Plus Project
c/o Concord Rotary Club
PO Box 455
Concord, MA, 01742
or
The Harvard Glee Club Foundation
1753 Massachusetts Ave., #3
Cambridge, MA, 02140
www.hgcfoundation.org

Arrangements under the care of Glenn D. Burlamachi, CONCORD FUNERAL HOME, Concord.

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