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Kenneth Clyde Burdick
August 25, 1934 ~ October 29, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Kenneth Clyde “Ken” Burdick passed away on October 29, 2023, at the age of 89, at his home in Arlington, Oregon. Despite his battle with serious medical issues in recent years, he showed his courage in facing life challenges with grit, grace, and dignity.
Ken was born on August 25, 1934, to Clyde Edward Burdick and Gertrude Mae Becker, in Kearney, Nebraska. He graduated from Ainsworth High School in Ainsworth, Nebraska in 1952. Ken was small in stature, but large in presence. His family had a nickname for him, “Mighty Mite.” This went along well with his mischievous nature.
He enlisted in the Navy on December 1, 1952, and served as a quartermaster until his discharge on December 1, 1960. He was very proud of his military service. He was even more proud when four of his grandsons followed in his footsteps and served in the Navy as well. He loved to sit with them and talk “shop”.
Ken attended Eastern Washington College of Education in Cheney, Washington. He graduated in August of 1960, with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Rosse Mary Beke, while working at her father’s service station. They married on August 19, 1960, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Ken spent a few years working for the Veteran’s Administration in Spokane, Wahington, San Bernadino, California, and Walla Walla, Washington, as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist. In 1964, he and Rose moved to Arlington, Oregon where he became an elementary and high school teacher. He taught several different class levels, before setting in as the high school shop teacher. He absolutely loved passing on his woodworking skills to each of his students.
He taught school from 1964 until 1975 when he began working for Cargill as a grain elevator operator. In 1986, he moved on to Chemical Waste Management, working as a hazardous waste technician. He remained at CWM until his retirement on September 1, 1999.
After Ken’s retirement, he loved to tinker in his shop with his many woodworking projects. He was also a handman to all who needed a little help. He spent countless hours watching his grandchildren participate in everything he possibly could. He enjoyed family camping trips, and several vacations and road trips he took with Rose. Family was everything to Ken.
Shortly after moving to Arlington, Ken joined the Arlington Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Lodge #88. Throughout the years, he was a steadfast member, and rose through the degrees to become a Shriner. He was a Worshipful Master several times and served as the Grand Sword Bearer for the State of Oregon. He was fiercely proud of his membership with this organization.
Ken is survived by Rose, his wife of 63 years; sister Shirley Lentz and brother Richard Burdick; daughters Diane Burdick, Patty Frazier (Roy), and Becky Sumner (Mark); sons Charlie Burdick (Jennifer), and Bill Burdick; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde and Gertrude Burdick, and brothers, Jimmy, and Eugene Burdick. A graveside service with military honors was held to honor Ken on November 11, 2023 at the Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, Oregon.