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Nancy Burton in 1933
Nancy Burton on her graduation in 1933

Internal News - 01 October 2007

Nancy Burton, former Senior Lecturer, dies aged 95

Nancy Burton, a former Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, has died aged 95.

Mrs Burton joined the University as a Lecturer in 1963 when it moved from Bristol and retired as a Senior Lecturer in 1977.

Her daughter, Dr Naomi Kerr, has described how Mrs Burton enjoyed her life at the University and considered her main contribution to be her teaching role and her work in organising placements for students in her department.

She loved people and when she retired a group of her much younger colleagues met with her and Joseph, her husband, every Saturday for coffee. Even into her nineties, she maintained contact with former students and colleagues and her house had an ever changing mix of visiting relatives and friends.

Dr Kerr describes how these friendships kept Mrs Burton in touch with the academic and cultural world as well as sustaining her as she approached great old age, and giving her immense pleasure.

Mrs Burton was an enthusiastic supporter of the University’s aims and achievements and was particularly pleased to see how it maintained a high position in university rankings.

She was born into a north London Jewish family, and was the first person in her immediate family to go to University. She read Philosophy, Politics & Economics at St Hugh’s College Oxford.

She met Joseph, who was at Manchester College Oxford, preparing to be a Unitarian Minister, towards the end of her third year and they married secretly in 1934. She had two children and during the 40s and 50s she combined the roles of mother and homemaker with part-time lecturing for adult education courses, and teaching A level history.

Mrs Burton had three years of declining mental and physical health at the end of her life, spent in Cumbria, and lost her husband eight years earlier.

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