Lenore Burgard was a Minnesota activist. She died in 2002.
Life of activism
From 1950s protests against the atomic bomb to street theater about violence in El Salvador in the 1990s, "you could almost see the 20th century unfolding through her life," her friend Jane Lampland said. Burgard was active in the League of Women Voters from 1955 to 1965. Facing a divorce and the need to support herself and her four children, she got a journalism degree in 1966 from the University of Minnesota.
A Washington, D.C., march against the Vietnam War in October 1967 was the turning point of Burgard's life, said Weintraub. "She began mistrusting the government," she said. "From there she evolved into a Socialist."
Lampland met Burgard in the late 1960s through Students for a Democratic Society, an anti-war student movement, and was involved with her in the women's rights movement.
Burgard used community theater to get across her political beliefs, Weintraub said. She brought attention to the controversy that linked power lines to healthy problems as director of Unity Theater in the 1970s. In April 1998, she played Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador in a performance of the Justice and Peace Street Theater play "School of Assassins" in Lafayette Park opposite the White House.
In addition, she was "one of the most forward-looking people at the University of Minnesota in the development of alternative and interdisciplinary education," said Lampland. As an academic advisor at the university from 1969 through 1991, she helped develop the University Without Walls, now known as the Program for Individualized Learning. "She was there for the uncommon student," Lampland said.
In the 1980s, she headed a committee that did early work in getting stair ramps and remodeled bathrooms unstalled for students and staff with disabilities. She was "an intellectual glory to be around," Lampland said.
In addition to Weintraub, survivors include two other daughters, Kathryn Burgard-Fourness of Robbinsdale and Margaret Burgard of Minneapolis; a son, John Burgard of Minneapolis; two sisters, Barbara Porto of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Dolores Dewey of Tucson, Ariz., and a brother, William Wohlferd of Sparks, Nev.