"Nation's Oldest Living SeaBee"
Jake passed away peacefully at his home in Ipswich on January 13, 2021. He was the loving husband of Marsha (Dunham) Burridge. Jake was born and raised in Ipswich, MA to Vincent William and Mary Ann (LeBlanc) Burridge on January 16,1918. He was just 3 days shy of his 103rd. birthday.
Jake was educated in the Ipswich school system, and during his high school years, he was Captain of his football, basketball, and baseball teams. Jake was a skilled finish carpenter, and with his father and two brothers, built most of the summer homes on Little Neck along with many other homes in Ipswich and surrounding areas.
At the beginning of WWII, Jake volunteered for the Navy in the Seabees, specializing in deep sea diving and construction. His Battalion 301st was stationed in the Pacific Theater. Until his passing, Jake was the longest surviving Seabee. Upon his honorable discharge in December, 1945, Jake returned home and began a life of community service. He was one of the founding fathers of the Ipswich VFW and held the position of Commander in 1957, 1975, and 1984. Among his many accomplishments during this period was his leadership in moving the VFW from Topsfield Road to a newly built VFW on County Road. He established and was President of the 1953 “Memorial Johnny Fund of Ipswich”, an Ipswich High School Scholarship. In 1984 Jake designed the WWII Memorial located on the Green in Ipswich. Jake was the Grand Marshal of the Memorial Day Parade. Additionally, he was Grand Marshal of the 4th of July and Veterans Day Parades.
During the mid-1990’s, Jake, Don Greenough, and Bill Wasserman established and oversaw the building of the current YMCA on Topsfield Road. Jake was a lifetime member of the VFW as well as the American Legion and the AmVets. In the early 1950’s Jake volunteered as a call firefighter with the Ipswich Fire Department and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. His love of dance led him to meet his future wife, Marsha. Subsequently, he became a dance instructor, holding classes in Ipswich, Rowley, and Hamilton. Longtime members of the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club, Jake and Marsha spent many evenings there regaling in their sailing adventures. In the mid-80’s Jake bought the first of three boats, all named “Trepidation”. The first sailboat took Jake and Marsha to many destinations, including Nova Scotia and the Bahamas. The second sailboat was a 36’ steel hulled sloop commissioned by Jake to be built in Holland. Sailing from Holland through the European waterways to the coast of Africa and Trinidad, Jake finally arrived home after being away for many months. At the age of 95, Jake sold his last sailboat and purchased a 40’ trawler in which he and Marsha motored around the North Shore and Maine. Through the years Jake’s efforts and contributions at the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club resulted in the dedication of the “Jake Burridge Porch”. During his lifetime, Jake received many awards and citations including : the Commonwealth of MA in recognition of his WWII service signed by then Governor Tobin; a Government Citation in 2013 signed by Governor Deval Patrick; a Resolution from the MA General Court honoring his military service; his service as a call firefighter, and his community service as “the highest ideals of American work ethic” signed by Speaker of the House DeLeo, President of the Senate, Murray, Rep. Brad Hill, and Senator Bruce Tarr; the American Legion’s Certificate of Appreciation for his “outstanding service and contribution to the American Legion”; and “Man of the Year” from Care Dimensions.
Besides his wife, Jake is survived by his children William and his wife, Elizabeth (McCauley) of Hamilton, Robert and his wife, Carla (Thurber) of Sandwich, MA, Lois and the late Peter Honegger of Hamilton, Peter Burridge of Missoula, Montana, and Margaret Burridge of Danielson, CT. Also surviving Jake are his grandchildren William Burridge, Jr., Benjamin and Megan Burridge, Alyson and Timothy Lull, Michael and Laney Burridge, David Burridge, Heidi and Charles Butler, Mark and Melissa Burridge, Olivia Honegger, and the late Jennifer Hatzmann. He is also survived by 17 great grandchildren.
The Burridge Family wishes to thank Care Dimensions for their compassion and unwavering care for Jake.
Visiting hours will be held Sunday January 24th. from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. in the Morris Funeral Home 45 North Main Street, Ipswich, relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Due to the pandemic all who attend must: wear a face covering, practice social distancing and everyone must not come into physical contact with the family. A funeral Mass will be privately celebrated at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Ipswich. Burial with military honors will again be private in the Cowles Memorial Cemetery in Ipswich. In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Jake’s memory to: the Jacob J. Burridge Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o the VFW Post# 1093 P.O. Box 281 Ipswich, MA 01938. To send a condolence to the Burridge family please go to: MorrisFH.com .
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