Donald P. Burkart | Computer engineer, 84

Donald P. Burkart, 84, of Upper Gwynedd, an electrical engineer who developed early computers, died Feb. 22 of complications from Alzheimer's disease at Manor Care Health Services in Montgomeryville.

Mr. Burkart graduated from North Wales High School. During World War II, he was an Army radar technician in New Guinea and the Philippines.

After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Drexel Institute. He joined the computer design group of Radio Corp. of America, which in 1956 introduced Bizmac, the company's first commercial computer. He left RCA in 1974 to join Sperry Rand Corp. in Blue Bell. He retired in 1987, the year after Sperry merged with Burroughs Corp. to become Unisys.

Mr. Burkart was a former member of the finance committee of North Penn school board and served on the board of the North Penn Visiting Nurses Association. He was a past master, secretary, and 50-year member of Shiloh Masonic Lodge in Lansdale, and was past treasurer of St. Luke's United Church of Christ.

He was an accomplished photographer, his wife, Charlotte Diener Burkart said, and enjoyed music and reading. He was a do-it-yourselfer, she said, and kept household appliances and his car in working order.

In addition to his wife of 55 years, Mr. Burkart is survived by sons Scott and Keith; daughter Carol Riffle; a brother; and two grandchildren.

A Masonic service followed by a memorial service will be at 11:30 a.m. today at St. Luke's United Church of Christ, 125 N. Main St., North Wales.