UC Riverside Mourns the Death of Rosemary Bourns, Co-Founder of Bourns, Inc.

The UCR Bourns College of Engineering was named in honor of Marlan and Rosemary Bourns

Gordon Bourns with his mother, Rosemary. She died this week at the age of 87.

By Don Davidson

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Rosemary Bourns, who co-founded Bourns, Inc. with her husband Marlan and for whom the Bourns College of Engineering is named, passed away Wednesday, September 26. She was 87 years old.

“On the UCR campus, Rosemary Bourns’ name has become synonymous with the accomplishments of strong and hardworking women,” said UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White. “We will sorely miss her quiet smile but she will always be honored through the accomplishments of the faculty and students in the Bourns College of Engineering.”

“This is a very sad day in the life of our college,” said Reza Abbaschian, dean of the college. “We send our deepest sympathies to the Bourns family for their loss. Rosemary was a dear friend of the college and an inspiration to everyone who knew her. She was a remarkable woman whose warm, engaging nature made her a beloved ambassador for her company, her family and for our college. She was a treasure and she will be dearly missed.”

A memorial service is being planned. The Bourns family asks that in lieu of flowers, persons who wish to honor Rosemary’s life do so by contributing to the

This portrait was painted in 2010 by renowned artist Scott Methvin, in recognition of Marlan’s ninetieth birthday.

Rosemary Bourns Memorial Fund at the Bourns College of Engineering.

In 1994, The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering was named in honor of a generous gift from the Bourns family’s foundation. In addition, the west engineering building was named Bourns Hall in honor of their support. Marlan and Rosemary Bourns were also recognized as UCR Laureates in 2000 and the family was honored by the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship with its 2010 Lifetime Award.

Marlan and Rosemary Bourns began their electronic components manufacturing company The Bourns Laboratories in the 384-square-foot garage of their home in Pasadena, Calif., in 1947. Together, they grew the company (now Bourns, Inc.) to become a global leader in its field.

Now headquartered in Riverside and led by their son, CEO and Chairman Gordon Bourns, the company employs more than 4,000 people around the world. Gordon Bourns also serves as chairman of the college’s Council of Advisors. In addition to Gordon, Rosemary is survived her husband Marlan, their daughters Linda Hill, Anita Macbeth and Denise Moyles, and 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

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