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Donald Burling

Dr. Donald Eugene Burling, 86, of Aurora, Nebraska, passed away August 24, 2020.

Private family graveside services will be held at the Kenesaw Cemetery on Friday, August 28th, 2020. Rev. Greg Reed will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Kenesaw Cemetery. Memorials may be to the family to be designated at a later date. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Don was born June 20, 1934 in Hastings, Nebraska. He grew up in Kenesaw, Nebraska, where he graduated high school in 1952. He then went on to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln from which he graduated in 1956. Don served in the US Army Reserves and was permitted to teach for one year before fulfilling his reserve commitment and going active in basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. After completing basic training, he was awarded graduate assistantship at the University of Nebraska and earned his Master's Degree in School Administration. It was during this time that he met his beautiful wife Alice Ensz (aka "Shorty") who was a South Dakota native. They were married on August 25, 1957 and started their family together.

After receiving his master's degree, Don served as a school administrator in Harvard and began earning his PhD in School Administration. He then served as Superintendent in Harvard, Falls City and finally Aurora, Nebraska, where he retired in 1997 after 22 years. Throughout his career, Don was an active member of various professional and civic organizations.

In retirement, Don enjoyed traveling with Alice, watching his grandkids participate in music and athletic activities, his twice daily coffee group and volunteering at the Senior Center. He was a long time member of the United Methodist Church in Aurora. He had a passion for learning, sharing good stories with friends, Cornhusker football and above all else, his family. Don was a family man through and through.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Annette Burling, and his son, William Burling.

Don will be missed dearly by his wife, Alice; their sons, Philip Burling, of Kearney and Michael (Patty) Burling, of Omaha; their six grandchildren, Natalie (Kyle) Kuypers, Pascal (Chase) Johnson, Erin Burling, Braeden Burling, Brock Burling, and Ellen Burling; one sister, Jeneane Ortman, of Marion, South Dakota; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

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