Donald L. Burkel


unknown - February 17, 2012

Mr. Donald L. Burkel, age 79 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., passed away Friday, February 17, 2012. Don was born on December 31, 1932, in Jefferson City, Mo., the son of Carl Michael and Blanche W. Petry Burkel. He was married on November 10, 1979, at Central United Church of Christ in Jefferson City, Mo., to Dorothy Lee Holt. A lifelong resident of the central Missouri area, Don was a 1951 graduate of Jefferson City High School. In 1955 he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in botany and forestry. He was also a member and expert marksman on the University Men's Rifle Team. Don served in the United States Air Force as a pilot from 1955 until 1970, achieving the rank of Captain. He began his career with the Missouri Department of Conservation in 1959, as an assistant district forester at Lake Ozark. Over the years, he worked as farm forester, urban forester and state land management specialist for the department until his retirement in 1990, as a Forester III. He initiated several projects including a farm forestry project in Clinton, an urban forestry project in Kansas City and a project to manage vegetation on the parks of several Corps of Engineers Reservoirs. He was a member, former deacon and choir member at Central United Church of Christ; a member of the Society of American Foresters; the National Rifle Association; Kansas City Ski Club, Rocky Mountain Ski Association; Firehouse Wood Carvers; and past member and officer of both the Jaycee's and Optimist Club. Survivors include: his wife of 32 years, Dorothy Burkel; two children, Debbie Mullally and her husband Kevin, and Steve Asher and his wife Linda; three granddaughters, Ashley Vincent, Erin Mullally, and Megan Asher; his niece, Carol Sechler and her husband Mark; his nephew, Donnie Sundermeyer, and their children, Roy Sundermeyer, Mark Sundermeyer, Ben Sechler, Caroline Sechler, and Sara Landreth and her husband Jeremy and their daughter, Maria; one sister-in-law, Betty Jo Grazier and her family; and one brother-in-law, Gene Holt and his wife Sandy and their family. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Carl E. Burkel; sister, Ruth Kathryn Sundermeyer; brother-in-law, Roy Sundermeyer; and a grandson, Jeremy Holland. Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, 2012, with an additional visitation at Central United Church of Christ from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at Central United Church of Christ with the Reverend Dr. Stephen Buchholz officiating. Graveside services and interment with full military honors will be held at Riverview Cemetery. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Central United Church Choir Fund or the Church Organ Fund. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

Services Location

Freeman Mortuary
  • 915 Madison Street Jefferson City, Mo 65101
  • 573-636-5533
  • Fax 573-636-7513
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