Michael J. Burrill, age 74, beloved husband of Marilyn (Stegall) Burrill passed away on May 12, 2019 in Cincinnati surrounded by his family. He will be remembered for his impeccable integrity, his kind and generous nature, and his lifetime dedication to promoting sustainable development. He will be greatly missed as he was the cornerstone of his family and a great example to all who knew him.
Born on D-Day (June 6, 1944) in Augusta, GA, to John C. Burrill and Ann Carolyn White, Michael was the oldest of two boys, both loved and cherished by his parents. He graduated from Punahou High School (Hawaii) in 1962 and earned his BA in Architecture from Princeton University in 1966, followed by an MA in Architecture from Washington University in Saint Louis (1968). In 1997, Michael completed another MA, this time in Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati, while he was working for UC full-time as a campus planner.
The son of a Navy man, Michael lived in or visited nearly every state in the nation, as well as numerous countries outside the U.S. during his initial 20-year career as an architect for the Air Force. In 1993, he joined the campus planning department at UC, where he worked for 13 years until he retired in 2006. His roles at UC included developing designs for electronic classrooms, reviewing project drawings from a programming and sustainable design perspective, and presenting master plans and design guidance at conferences. Michael’s post-retirement activities focused on his two greatest passions: Model railroading and writing his 2014 book, Sustainable Transportation and Development, which seeks to summarize what he had learned over his multifaceted career about how to plan sustainable and affordable transportation systems. His website, GrowSmartPlanet, showcases this lifetime love for green living and transportation, a legacy which will continue to be maintained by his daughter Cynthia Jane.
Despite being such a hard-working person, Michael made his family a priority, particularly through family trips to every place imaginable, even on a limited Air Force budget. Fond memories of tours through Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, France, England, and Scotland—among others—will be cherished forever. His grandsons will most remember his willingness to escort them to various amusement parks and zoos and the model railroad and history displays at the Cincinnati Museum Center, as well as the “belly shake hugs” he gave them when they were little. Michael was an avid fan of MLB Baseball, enjoyed all types of music, and fell in love with trains at the age of 4. Anyone who knew him would know this because he also greatly enjoyed talking.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, his two daughters and their husbands, Jennifer and Leo Paz, and Cynthia Jane and Greg Evans, his mother-in-law, Helene R. Stegall, his brother, Richard Burrill, and step-sister, Carla Allison-Miller, his Burrill and Lyle cousins, and three grandsons, Matias Paz, Dante Paz, and Lucas Paz.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. until time of life celebration at 11:00 a.m. at the Spring Grove Funeral Home, 4389 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223. Sympathy may be expressed at www.springgrove.org.