Obituary: Carl Edward Burkhead

Share this post or save for later

6/20/1935 – 9/7/2023

Carl Edward Burkhead was born on June 20, 1935, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., to Clifton Dallas and Mabel Burkhead. He was one of six children (not including an unnamed brother who died at birth): Kenneth Eugene of Kansas City, Mo. (deceased), Clifton Raymond of Grandview, Mo. (deceased), Eleanor Marie of Arvada, Colo., John Stephen of Troy, Ala., and Mary Francis Hull of Buckhannon, W. Va. Carl graduated from McCoy Grade School, Northeast Junior High, Northeast High School in 1953 (all in Kansas City, Mo.), Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy with a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1957 and the University of Kansas with a MS and PhD in Environmental Engineering, 1963 and 1966, respectively.

He married Nancy Joyce Pollard on June 2, 1957, and they have two children, Jeffery Allen (Jennifer), born in 1959 and Carla Joy (Tim) born in 1961. He and Joyce have seven grandchildren: Deon Marie Prue, Michael Timothy Wilson, Carrie Grace Combs, Leah Joy Johnson, Clay Carlen Burkhead, Catie Jewel Burkhead and Chloé Hope Burkhead; eight great-grandchildren: Riah Jude Ostrander, Rade Howard Ostrander, Treson Carl Prue, Jorey Wayne Prue, Rowan Michael Johnson, Marlee Grace Prue, Tauren Joy Johnson, and Roman Guthrie Combs.

Carl worked for Phillips Petroleum Co. from 1957 to 1959 (including a six-month tour of duty in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers); and Midwest Research Institute from 1959 to 1962. After completion of his graduate degrees, he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1966 to 1969. He worked at the University of Kansas from 1969 to 2003 as an associate and full professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. After retirement, he worked part-time as a Professional Environmental Engineer for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment from August 2008 to June 2018. He was a member of Alpha Chi Sigma, Chi Epsilon and had two Fulbright Awards to Technion in Haifa, Israel, in 1987 and the Catholic University in Oporto, Portugal, in 1994.

Carl received Christ at age 12 and spent the rest of his life sharing Jesus. He is now with the Lord at the age of 88. He would like to thank all those who shared their lives with him. And he looks forward to when we will see each other once again, forever.

A Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St. in Lawrence. A celebration service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at Rev City Church (formerly the Mustard Seed Church), 700 Wakarusa.

The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Douglas County Visiting Nurses for their loving and compassionate care of our husband/father.

Online condolences made at

Note: We are offering Lawrence and Douglas County community members space to publish remembrances of loved ones who lived in this community, free of charge. These pieces are submitted by family and friends of the deceased and not written by our staff.

We are glad to be able to offer this service free to community members in mourning. We believe the last thing our neighbors need in those difficult moments is another financial matter to worry about. Please consider a paid subscription to the Times to help us continue providing this service and news access for all.

To submit an obituary to The Lawrence Times, please fill out the form at this link. We’re sorry, but we cannot accept obituary submissions via email or other means.

If you are interested in sponsoring obituaries on our site through advertising, please email us at ads (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com.

Read other obituaries here.

Previous Article

As more Kansas students miss school, districts look for ways to entice them back to class

Next Article

Be there and be square: Nerd Nite Lawrence to celebrate 100th event