David (Dave) Gilbert Burkhardt was born Feb. 28, 1931, in Grapeview, WA, to August and Helena Burkhart.
He was the seventh of nine children, and the last surviving of the nine. He graduated from South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Wash., in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War.
After the service, he graduated from WSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry. With his degree, he became a park ranger and worked in Death Valley, Katmai, the Olympics, and Lake Chelan.
In 1976 he met and married Sandra L. Smith in Port Angeles, Wash. Eighteen months later, they moved to Port Orchard, where David started a Christmas tree farm and landscaping business.
In 1981 their only child, Jennifer Burkhardt Adkison, was born. In 1998 David moved his family to Plains, where he started a fruit orchard.
On April 8, 2017, Jennifer moved David and Sandra back to Washington to be close to family. David passed away from dementia complications on Dec. 17, 2017.
He is survived by his wife Sandra, his daughter Jennifer; his son-in-law, John Adkison; his grandsons, Jaxon and Brycen; and many nieces and nephews.
David spent most of his life outdoors, and was most at peace in God’s creation. A devout Lutheran, he rarely missed a Sunday service or church potluck.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either Gather Church (408 West Main St, Centralia, WA 98531) or the National Park Service www.nps.gov/getinvolved/donate.htm