Samuel E. Burr Jr., 89, a former education professor and department chairman at American University, where he taught from 1947 to 1968, died of pneumonia and meningitis Nov. 16 at a hospital in Princeton, N.J. He lived in Hightstown, N.J.

He was education department chairman at American from 1947 to 1959, and had been a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins and Howard universities, the old D.C. Teachers College, and the universities of Maryland and Virginia.

Dr. Burr was a 1919 graduate of Rutgers University in his native New Jersey. He received master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Cincinnati. He was a secondary school teacher and administrator in the Northeast and Midwest before moving here in 1947. He returned to New Jersey in the late 1970s.

He served in the Army in both world wars, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. During World War II, he served in the Mediterranean, Pacific and China-Burma-India theaters and received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

His scholarly publications included works on the life and times of Aaron Burr, the nation's third vice president. Dr. Burr, a distant relation, sought to prove that history's verdict on the man, who mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a famous duel, was unduly harsh.

He was a founder and president-general of the Aaron Burr Association and a member of the American Legion and the Sons of the American Revolution, and a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

His first wife, Alice, died in 1978.

His survivors include his wife, Ella, of Hightstown; a son by his first marriage, Samuel E. III, of Arlington Heights, Ill.; a sister, Anna T. Burr of New Jersey; eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

JOHN SEDGWICK LEA SR.,

77, a retired official with the Smithsonian Institution and a former editor with the National Geographic Society, died Nov. 17 at his home in Washington. He had cancer.

Mr. Lea was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and graduated from Columbia University. He moved to the Washington area in 1944 and became a civilian employe of the Army Corps of Engineers' research and development laboratories at Fort Belvoir.

He joined the Smithsonian in 1950 as an editor and assistant chief of the editorial and publications division. He retired in that job in 1975. For the next nine years, he worked part time as a research reports editor with the National Geographic Society.

Mr. Lea was a former recording secretary to the building committee and a former assistant clerk of the works at the Washington Cathedral. He was a past president of the Arts Club of Washington and a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Jane Goetz Lea of Washington; one son, John S. Lea Jr. of Bristol, Vt.; one daughter, Mary Patterson of Boston; one brother, Richard Lea of Syracuse; one sister, Edith Marsh of Warren, N.J., and four grandchildren.

STANLEY M. KULPA,

47, coordinator for research in the office of plans and operations at the Army Materiel Command's Harry Diamond Labs in Adelphi, died Nov. 15 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center of kidney and liver complications after intestinal surgery.

Dr. Kulpa, who lived in Bethesda, was born in Springfield, Mass. He was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a doctorate in physics from Brandeis University.

In 1968 he moved to the Washington area and was assigned to the staff at Harry Diamond Labs while on active duty with the Army. He had been a civilian employe there since December 1969.

On Monday he will be a posthumous recipient of the Director's Award for Technical Achievement.

Survivors include his wife, Linda J. Kulpa of Bethesda; his father, Mieczyslaw C. Kulpa of Chicopee, Mass., and two sisters, Rita Bellsie of Springfield, Mass., and Elaine Campbell of Chicopee.

HAROLD A. DEWEY,

73, a retired Navy Department finance officer, died of cancer Nov. 15 at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Dewey, who lived in Annandale, was born in Mather, Wis. He graduated from New York University where he also received a master's degree in business administration.

He served in the Navy during World War II.

After the war he became a civilian finance officer for the Department of the Navy in Washington. He retired in 1980 as executive director of the Navy Regional Finance Center.

He was a former chairman of the supervisory committee and secretary of the board of directors of the Navy Federal Credit Union.

Mr. Dewey had received the Navy's Superior Civilian Service Award and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

In retirement he had been a volunteer coordinator for the American Indian Heritage Foundation.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Evelyn Dewey of Annandale; one son, Lee Moran Dewey of Princeton, N.J.; one daughter, Carolyn Dewey Byers of Novato, Calif., and five grandchildren.

JAMES GORDON MURDOCK,

68, a corporate marketing consultant who founded J.G. Murdock & Co. of Washington in 1957, died Nov. 16 at his home in Bethesda after a heart attack.

Mr. Murdock was a past president of the Independent Telephone Pioneers Association and had served on the board of Congressional Country Club. He was a member of Little Flower Catholic Church in Bethesda, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, and the International and Touchdown clubs.

Before moving here in 1956, he had been a manager of Bob Crosby's Bobcat Band, and had held marketing posts with a paper company and a machine tool concern, in his native Chicago.

Survivors include his wife, Leigh, of Bethesda; two sons, James III, of Rockville, and John B., of Potomac; two daughters, Margo Murdock of Macon, Ga., and Celeste Mitchell of Warner Robins, Ga.; seven grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.