Marion Marcellus Burson, 98, Capital Hill Reporter and Congressional Aide, Dies

Burson lived in Evanston. Visitation will be held Friday and a funeral mass on Saturday.

Courtesy of Donnellan Funeral Home
Courtesy of Donnellan Funeral Home
The following obituary is from Donnellan Family Funeral Services:

Marion Marcellus Burson, a thirty-three year veteran of Capitol Hill, first as an AP reporter and then as a senior Congressional aide, died on April 1 at the age of 98. 

A native of Litchfield, Illinois, Mr. Burson was the son of Elbert E. and Mary McElligott Burson, publishers of the Litchfield News-Herald. He graduated from Litchfield Community High School and attended the University of Illinois and Loyola University of Chicago. 

He began his reporting career with the Decatur (Illinois) Herald and Review and then spent eight years with the Chicago bureau of the Associated Press. In 1951, he took a position with the Associated Press in Washington, primarily covering the Illinois, Indiana and Michigan Congressional delegations. 

After covering Congressional affairs for six years for AP, Mr. Burson served as Administrative Assistant to the late Rep. Peter F. Mack, Jr., a Democrat from Carlinville, Illinois, from 1957 to 1962. A self-professed history buff, Mr. Burson assisted in the planning of the 1959 commemoration of the sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. After Mack’s defeat in a reapportioned district, he served for ten years as Republican staff assistant on the House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee. In 1973, he became the top aide to the late Rep. George O’Brien of Joliet, Illinois, serving in that position until his retirement in 1984. During his career on Capitol Hill, he built a reputation for his problem-solving ability and wise counsel. He was also a valued mentor to many. 

The devoted husband to the former Helen Therese Egan, his wife of 62 years, and father of six, Mr. Burson lived most of his adult life in Arlington, Virginia, where he was active in his church and in other volunteer activities. In declining health, he moved with his wife to a retirement community in Evanston, Illinois in 2011. 

He is survived by his wife, six children, John (Erica), Bob (Sara), Bill, Bert (Renee Soulliard), Mary (John) Lawlor and Tom, and nine grandchildren. 

Info: 847/675-1990 or www.donnellanfuneral.com 


Friday April 11, 2014, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Donnellan Family Funeral Services, 10045 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, Illinois 60077 
Click for Map and Directions


Saturday April 12, 2014, 10:00 AM at Saint Francis Xavier Church, 912 Linden Avenue (9th & Linden), Wilmette, Illinois 60091 
Click for Map and Directions


Elmwood Cemetery, Litchfield, IL 
Click for Map and Directions


Born: February 28, 1916
Death: April 1, 2014


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Memorial donations can be made to: 
Unity Health Care, Inc. 1220 12th St. SE, Ste 120, Washington D.C. 20003 or
Arlington Free Clinic, 2921 S. 11th St. Arlington, VA 22204


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