Rev. Frederic Bradford Burnham

July 21, 1938 ~ January 23, 2019 (age 80)


The Rev. Frederic Bradford Burnham, PhD, was born July 21, 1938 in Cambridge, MA and died peacefully at the John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center, Asheville, NC on January 23, 2019. He was the son of the late Rev. Bradford Hinckley Burnham and the late Anna Scovill Gorrell Burnham. He was predeceased by his son, William Boswell Burnham, and sister, Anna Demia Burnham. Dr. Burnham graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1956. He earned an AB degree from Harvard (Literature & Physics), a BD from The Episcopal Theological School, a Diploma from Cambridge University, England and a PhD in the History of Science from The Johns Hopkins University. Additionally he was awarded a D.D. degree from Hobart College. Throughout his career he was a scholar, teacher, author and church leader in the study of science and religion and the examination of American cultural values. He served ten years at Wayne State University as a faculty member in the History Department and became the youngest Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in the country. In 1978, he became the President of the Association of Episcopal Colleges. In 1984, he became the third Director of the Trinity Institute, a program of Trinity Church Wall Street. There, he created conferences exploring parts of the Post-Modern puzzle, interweaving cutting edge discoveries in theology, the arts, and the new sciences. While at Trinity, he developed a set of dialogues with leaders of Wall Street, preached regularly, and served as faculty to the Clergy Leadership Project, a national program for Episcopal Clergy. Without fanfare he sought to renew and reinvigorate clergy and laity all over the country. The churches he served during his ministry were in Baltimore, Detroit, Elmsford, NY, and an Episcopal summer community church, All Angels, in Twilight Park, NY. The pinnacle of his career was his time at St. Paul’s Chapel, which is part of Trinity Church. It was there, at Ground Zero, following 9/11 that he discovered a new calling: ministry to the relief workers. The joy of caring for the firemen, police, and construction workers far outweighed the trauma of the attack. He served food and good counsel for nine months. Retiring in 2004 to western North Carolina, Dr. Burnham was a Senior Fellow of the Bennett J. Sims Institute for Servant Leadership, and a Senior Fellow at the Cathedral College of the Washington National Cathedral. Fred is survived by his wife, Regan, his son, Bradford (Lynn), and stepson, Kevin Quat. Mourning their beloved uncle are his nieces: Carol Everest (Jeff), Lee Jones (Richard), Jean Watson (Chris McLaughlin), Elizabeth Freeman (Noel), Christine Gove (Dick) and his nephew, Robert Larsen (Patricia). He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Watson (Doug), and two dearly beloved grandsons: John Frederic Burnham and Zackery Michael Quat. Many grandnieces and grandnephews round out the family. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, Mars Hill, NC. Memorial donations may be directed to The Asheville Poverty Initiative where Fred recently volunteered as Chair of the Board, or to The John F. Keever Jr. Solace Center. The family wishes to acknowledge the superb care Dr. Burnham received at the Solace Center. We are forever grateful.




To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Rev. Frederic Bradford Burnham, please visit our Tree Store.


Celebration of Life
March 2, 2019

2:30 PM
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit
Boone Camp Road
Mars Hill, NC 28753

© 2022 Asheville Area Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility