Roderick Burtram, Commander, USN (Retired), a proud veteran of the United States Navy, passed away peacefully at his home on January 1, 2022, at age 92. Rod was born in Springville, Alabama, on February 19, 1929.
In November, 1948, Rod enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned as an Ensign in September, 1961, through the Limited Duty Officer Program. He served as a Torpedoman’s Mate for ten years in diesel submarines: USS Corporal, USS Bashaw, and USS Sea Devil. During the next 19 years, he served in various submarine ordnance billets. He was the Commanding Officer of the pre-commissioning unit for the USS Dixon and subsequently served in that ship as the Weapons Repair Officer. Later tours of duty were with Staff, Deputy Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Pacific; Staff, Commander Submarine Group 5; and Staff, Commander Submarine Force, US Atlantic Fleet. In 1979, Rod was reclassified to Unrestricted Line Officer and transferred to Field Command Defense Nuclear Agency, Albuquerque, NM. During that tour, he completed requirements for a Baccalaureate Degree and graduated from the University of Albuquerque. He then served as Ordnance Officer, then Executive Officer of the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, VA. In 1985, his last tour of duty as Commanding Officer of the Navy and Marine Corps, Reserve Center at Bessemer, Alabama, completed his 40 years of exemplary Naval Service.
Rod’s personal awards included the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Service Medal, and three Navy Commendation Medals. He also wore "Dolphins" (the Submarine Warfare Insignia), the Meritorious Unit Citation, and several Campaign Medals. His distinguished Navy career was documented in two books: Clear the Bridge and The Silent Service Remembers (Volume 2).
After he retired from the Navy, Rod returned home to his family’s farm in Springville as a gentleman farmer and cleared the kudzu-covered land, planted crops of pine trees, and raised cattle. He also enjoyed reading and fishing.
Twice widowed, Rod was preceded in death by Vivian L. Teveldahl Burtram and Hazel Smith Shreve Burtram. He's survived by his daughters Erin Clyde and Rebecca Cordes (Edward Cordes) and grandson Nicholas Becker. His family has organized a private service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Life Care Hospice.
The family will have a private service held at a later date.
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