Father Sherburne’s interactions with foreign students instilled an interest in Asian culture and Eastern religions.
Jesuit Fr. Richard F. Sherburne died on September 28, 2013, at the age of 87 years and after a long illness. He resided at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa, Wis., since 2008. Father Sherburne was dean of students at Marquette University and chaplain of Marquette University’s Law School.
Father Sherburne was a graduate of Marquette University High School and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classics at Saint Louis University. He was ordained a priest at Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee on June 20, 1956, and finished his Jesuit training in Decatur, Ill.
His service at the law school after retirement was his second stint working at Marquette. He taught classics, advised foreign students, and served three years as dean of students at the university earlier in his career. His interactions with foreign students instilled an interest in Asian culture and Eastern religions. He left Marquette in 1968 and spent a year in Darjeeling, India, living and studying with Canadian Jesuits. Father Sherburne received a second master’s degree and his doctorate at the University of Washington in Seattle. Beginning in 1977, he taught religious studies at Seattle University, where he retired in 1996.
His published works include a 300-page annotated translation of the Tibetan texts of Atisha, an 11th-century Buddhist teacher. He also worked with Nancy Moore Gettelman, a friend of his when both worked at Marquette during the 1960s, on a series of videos, “Bhutan: A Himilayan Cultural Diary.”
As a law school chaplain, he rose early and took a walk on campus in the early morning hours. He preferred newspapers to television to keep up on world events and to avoid what he described in his 2005 Marquette Lawyer interview as “spontaneous combustion.”
Memorial gifts may be made to The Jesuits, 2050 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614.
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