November 28, 1935 – December 2, 2019 – (age 84)
Donald Max Burkhead, better known to his family as Papa, was 84 when he passed away on December 2, 2019, in Logan Regional Hospital surrounded by his family.
Don was born to Clyde and Hattie Burkhead on November 28, 1935, in Monument, Kansas. He was born into a righteous, loving home, which was evident by the way he lived his life. He graduated from Kansas University with a BS in finance. He worked in banking and finance his whole life.
He met Judy Eckersley, who became his wife, while working together at the same bank in Los Angeles, California. They fell in love, stayed in love and were besties their whole life. Don and Judy were married on March 20, 1965. Together they raised 5 children in their home in California.
Don had a great relationship with each of his children and was very involved in every aspect of their lives. He coached many of their sports teams, including soccer and track. He became known as Coach Don and to this day many of his players still remember him with fondness and say he was not only the best coach they ever had but also their favorite.
After his children were grown, he continued to show his love to his family by supporting his grandchildren. Papa and Grammie spent their weekends traveling from event to event not wanting to miss a single opportunity to share in the joy of their family. He absolutely adored and cherished each and every one of his grandchildren and their feelings towards their Papa was mutual. The memories they have of their special relationship with him has strengthened them and taught them lessons that will guide them throughout their lives.
After his grandchildren grew and went off to college, Don and Judy decided to leave California and settle close to Judy’s family in Logan, Utah. Here he had the opportunity to extend his love and support to his great nephews and nieces. They all loved it when Uncle Don and Aunt Judy came to watch them in all their various activities, just as he did with his children and grandchildren. He loved watching his favorite team, the Kansas Jayhawks, with his great nephew Boston.
Another one of Don’s favorite things to do was to work in the temple. While in California, he served at the temple in Los Angeles and after moving to Utah he continued working in the Logan Temple. This service brought joy into his life and he was able to form many lasting friendships.
Above all, his favorite thing to do was spend time with his wife Judy whom he loved dearly and always treated her as his queen. Throughout all the inconsistencies that come with time, the one thing that never changed was Don’s love and admiration that he showed for his wife Judy, who he called his “Angel.” Daily love notes could be found scattered in various locations around the house as a constant expression of his love for her. During their 55 years of marriage, not a day went by where they did not hold each others hands. They literally walked through life hand in hand until the very end. Their love story will forever be an example to their family.
Don is survived by his wife Judy, their children Angie (Dave) Bush, Kellee (Kenny) Safford, Lisa (John) Hess and Shawn (Aleesha) Burkhead, his thirteen grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and his sister Carole Jo Ralston. He was preceded in death by his parents Clyde and Hattie Burkhead, two brothers Dean and Delmar Burkhead and his son Chris Burkhead.
Don was a friend to all and an enemy to none. What a legacy! Go Jayhawks!
There will be a celebration of Don’s life Saturday, December 7, at 11:30am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Willow Valley Ward, 825 North 200 West, Logan, Utah.
Funeral services are under the direction of Sunset Valley Mortuary.