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 Earl Murphy Bourdon

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Earl Murphy Bourdon

Birth
Claremont, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA
Death
19 Jun 1993 (aged 75)
Claremont, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA
Burial
Plainfield, Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA
Memorial ID
178024805 View Source

Husband of Honorine Hadley, buried next to him in her family's plot.

Thanks to Find a Grave contributor Janice Prichard (46984070) for the following biographical information:

Earl Murphy Bourdon, a major voice for the elderly in New Hampshire who at one time was a prominent labor leader in the state, has died. He died on June 19, 1993 of bone cancer and emphysema. He was born in Claremont on December 16, 1917, the son of Eli and Agnes (Murray) Bourdon, and was a lifelong resident of the community.

The longtime political activist had been pressing for national health care reform and was president of the New Hampshire Association for the Elderly. ''He certainly considered himself to be a humanist and was so in every sense of the word,'' said friend David Osgood, director of Southwestern Community Services. ''He could not stand to see injustice being done to people who could not defend themselves.''

He began his activist work in 1957 as a staff representative for the United Steelworkers of America. He worked there after being employed at Joy Manufacturing Co. for 14 years.

Until he retired in 1978, he actively opposed anti-union legislation and fought for minimum-wage legislation, stronger collective bargaining and the protection of pension plans. Afterward, he was an activist on behalf of the elderly, fighting budget cutters who would have sliced more from Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Former New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Harland Eaton last night described Bourdon as ''the heart and soul of the labor movement'' and unwavering in his convictions.

''Anything he could do to help the labor movement, labor people, he was devoted to it,'' Eaton said. ''He felt it was the people out there that made this country great, not the politicians.''

He included among his friends author Studds Terkel, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. He stood by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, though he remained a lifetime member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In a 1991 interview with The Union Leader, Bourdon said he sees a ''great future'' for the country if old and young unite and work toward ''building a just society in which no one would have to live on the streets or be jobless.

''The elderly should reach out to the young and they should work together to prove to the world that this nation is indeed the family of mankind,'' he said. ''If that is to become a reality, however, a lot more seniors must get involved. They must organize and exert their influence on elected officials with regard to the way they vote on critical issues.''

He told The Union Leader the paramount issue confronting all Americans is the need for accessible and affordable health care. Richard Krueger, chairman of the Sullivan County Republican Committee, said he admired the way Bourdon remained committed to his political views. ''Very few people were as committed as him.''

In his final weeks, Bourdon established a trust fund to help poor youngsters get involved with causes he supported.

''His whole life was opening doors and supporting young people who were interested in politics and social change,'' said Raymond Gagnon, a former Claremont mayor. ''He was available to them and never saw them as competition or a threat.''

John Hoar, vice president of the New Hampshire Association for the Elderly, said New Hampshire will not be the same without Bourdon. ''He was a tireless crusader for social and economic justice,'' Hoar said.

State Rep. Peter Burling, D-Cornish, called Bourdon's death ''an insurmountable loss.''

''Earl was our lion in winter, our fierce conscience and our kind heart. He was the best New Hampshire Democrats had to offer. We will miss him terribly.''

He was a graduate of Stevens High School and Suffolk Law School.

He was a member of the United Steel Workers of America Local 2944, the N.H. Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, N.H. Advisory Council and past president of the Sullivan County Labor Council.

He was also on many community boards.

He had served on the federal Civil Rights Commission.

Gov. Hugh Gallen appointed him to chair the state Manpower Services Council from 1979 to 1983.

In 1977, he received New Hampshire labor's highest tribute when he was presented its Toland Award and the state Association for the Elderly awarded him its Claude Pepper Award in 1991.

Family members include his wife of 26 years, Honorine (Hadley) Bourdon of Claremont; two daughters, Rhoda L. Staff-Bottom of Palermo, ME, and Valerie A. Staff of Albuquerque, NM; a son, Christopher R. Staff of Maine; five grandchildren; a sister, C. Lillian Brockney of Marlboro, MA; a brother, Joseph LaFlower of Spencer, MA; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours.

Burial is in River Cemetery. There is a cenotaph in Mtn View Cemetery in Claremont, NH, memorial #213804522.

Source; Union Leader, The (Manchester, NH) - June 22, 1993
Contributor: Janice Prichard (46984070) • [email protected]

Husband of Honorine Hadley, buried next to him in her family's plot.

Thanks to Find a Grave contributor Janice Prichard (46984070) for the following biographical information:

Earl Murphy Bourdon, a major voice for the elderly in New Hampshire who at one time was a prominent labor leader in the state, has died. He died on June 19, 1993 of bone cancer and emphysema. He was born in Claremont on December 16, 1917, the son of Eli and Agnes (Murray) Bourdon, and was a lifelong resident of the community.

The longtime political activist had been pressing for national health care reform and was president of the New Hampshire Association for the Elderly. ''He certainly considered himself to be a humanist and was so in every sense of the word,'' said friend David Osgood, director of Southwestern Community Services. ''He could not stand to see injustice being done to people who could not defend themselves.''

He began his activist work in 1957 as a staff representative for the United Steelworkers of America. He worked there after being employed at Joy Manufacturing Co. for 14 years.

Until he retired in 1978, he actively opposed anti-union legislation and fought for minimum-wage legislation, stronger collective bargaining and the protection of pension plans. Afterward, he was an activist on behalf of the elderly, fighting budget cutters who would have sliced more from Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Former New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Harland Eaton last night described Bourdon as ''the heart and soul of the labor movement'' and unwavering in his convictions.

''Anything he could do to help the labor movement, labor people, he was devoted to it,'' Eaton said. ''He felt it was the people out there that made this country great, not the politicians.''

He included among his friends author Studds Terkel, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. He stood by the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, though he remained a lifetime member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

In a 1991 interview with The Union Leader, Bourdon said he sees a ''great future'' for the country if old and young unite and work toward ''building a just society in which no one would have to live on the streets or be jobless.

''The elderly should reach out to the young and they should work together to prove to the world that this nation is indeed the family of mankind,'' he said. ''If that is to become a reality, however, a lot more seniors must get involved. They must organize and exert their influence on elected officials with regard to the way they vote on critical issues.''

He told The Union Leader the paramount issue confronting all Americans is the need for accessible and affordable health care. Richard Krueger, chairman of the Sullivan County Republican Committee, said he admired the way Bourdon remained committed to his political views. ''Very few people were as committed as him.''

In his final weeks, Bourdon established a trust fund to help poor youngsters get involved with causes he supported.

''His whole life was opening doors and supporting young people who were interested in politics and social change,'' said Raymond Gagnon, a former Claremont mayor. ''He was available to them and never saw them as competition or a threat.''

John Hoar, vice president of the New Hampshire Association for the Elderly, said New Hampshire will not be the same without Bourdon. ''He was a tireless crusader for social and economic justice,'' Hoar said.

State Rep. Peter Burling, D-Cornish, called Bourdon's death ''an insurmountable loss.''

''Earl was our lion in winter, our fierce conscience and our kind heart. He was the best New Hampshire Democrats had to offer. We will miss him terribly.''

He was a graduate of Stevens High School and Suffolk Law School.

He was a member of the United Steel Workers of America Local 2944, the N.H. Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, N.H. Advisory Council and past president of the Sullivan County Labor Council.

He was also on many community boards.

He had served on the federal Civil Rights Commission.

Gov. Hugh Gallen appointed him to chair the state Manpower Services Council from 1979 to 1983.

In 1977, he received New Hampshire labor's highest tribute when he was presented its Toland Award and the state Association for the Elderly awarded him its Claude Pepper Award in 1991.

Family members include his wife of 26 years, Honorine (Hadley) Bourdon of Claremont; two daughters, Rhoda L. Staff-Bottom of Palermo, ME, and Valerie A. Staff of Albuquerque, NM; a son, Christopher R. Staff of Maine; five grandchildren; a sister, C. Lillian Brockney of Marlboro, MA; a brother, Joseph LaFlower of Spencer, MA; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours.

Burial is in River Cemetery. There is a cenotaph in Mtn View Cemetery in Claremont, NH, memorial #213804522.

Source; Union Leader, The (Manchester, NH) - June 22, 1993
Contributor: Janice Prichard (46984070) • [email protected]


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EARL M. BOURDON
1917 -- 1993


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