Colonel Richard R. Burritt USMC ret. 1928-2011

My father, Richard Renato Burritt passed away at the age of 83 on July 15, 2011.
Dad was a Marine for 34 years, starting from private in WWII and retiring as a Bird Colonel. He was a great motivator and  listed below are some of the sayings he would use to motivate us through our lives:

  • If you’re hungry you will eat it.
  • That and 5 cents will get ya a cup of coffee. (This meant, don’t toot your own horn, or someone tried to toot it for ya, you’d tell them “that and five cents will get ya a cup  of coffee!)
  • We don’t need air conditioning, we are Marines. (We were about the only people in military quarters in the Panama Canal Zone that did not have a/c!)
  • Tomato soup recipe: Take ketchup and mix with hot water. (This goes with #1, “if you’re hungry you will eat it.”
  • The Burritt family has two of everything. (we would buy an object, loose it somewhere in the house, buy another of the same, and then find the first object.)
  • “Keep walking ,when I was on an all night march in Korea (or China)”
  • “Wait until the elephant comes to a complete stop” (This was to tell us not to open the car door before he turned the engine off.)
  • “The troops always comes first.” (Most of the time he meant the Marines, but he would use that phrase to tell others his children or any other child, came first.)
  • “Don’t support the ‘cause’ ”
    (This meant, don’t buy or take part in any product or activity that could
    support the anti-war protestors during the Viet Nam War.)

         Favorite foods:

  • Broiled or baked pork chops with caraway seeds~~creamed corn~~baked beans~~knockwurst~~kolachki~~Hoska bread and coffee to finish it off.
  • “if you are going to shovel “poop”, be the best “poop” shoveler there is.”
  • “fire in the belly”
    (Dad’s way of telling you if you want something bad enough, work hard to get it)


  • “grinding it out”
    (keep going through the motions of work and life, and things will get better)
  • “Don’t be like “those kinds of girls” (His way of telling us to act like ladies and have respect)

I am sure I will remember more of his bits of wisdom as the days pass, and I’ll add them to the blog. In genealogy, it is important to include the oral history of the past and present. If anyone else knew my Dad and still remembers some of his wisdom, please share with us!

Col R.R. Burritt


About hoosierbeth

I have been researching my ancestors, your ancestors and everybody else's since 1981.
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2 Responses to Colonel Richard R. Burritt USMC ret. 1928-2011

  1. Jim Clarke says:

    Colonel Burritt was an exemplary Marine commander. I had the pleasure of serving under the Colonel in 1970, Alpha Company, 2nd battalion, 3rd Marines, Camp Pendleton. My XO at the time rose over a 36-year career to become a two star general….Major General Thomas S. Jones. Colonel Burritt was a leader who truly inspired his troops.

  2. hoosierbeth says:

    Thank you so much for commenting on this article.

    He and my mother raised us well, and I will always remember everything he taught me which has helped me in my personal life and work life. I miss talking to him on the phone. He always would give me a good motivational speech somewhere in our conversations to keep me going, which I would then carry on for the next person who needed some motivation (especially my children.)

    He was a good guy. We need more people in the world like my Dad.

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