Donald Glen Burch
October 1, 1931 - July 17, 2023

Donald Glen Burch, of Lakewood Ranch, FL, died peacefully on July 17, 2023, with his loving family by his side. He was 91 years old. For those who loved him, 91 years was not enough time.

Don grew up with five siblings on a modest street in Muskegon, Michigan during the Great Depression. The house had no running water until Don was in the sixth grade. He began delivering the Grand Rapids Herald when he was eleven. In high school, Don scrubbed the decks of the shiny boats at the Muskegon Yacht Club for extra money, which he used to buy a 1937 Ford two-door sedan.

In April of 1950, Don met a young woman named Sally at a dance in Muskegon Heights. She wore a long, green skirt. Six months later, Don and Sally got married at 19 years old. They raised four children together, Thomas, Stephen, Eric and Jane, whom they considered their greatest achievement.

The first member of his family to finish high school or go to college, Don earned an engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1955 with honors. He worked in the paper industry for more than forty years, first as an engineer, then in sales, and later as an executive. For his many years of contributions to a Finnish company, Don was honored as a First Class Knight in Finland’s Order of the White Rose.

In retirement, Don and Sally relocated to Rosedale in Bradenton, FL.  Don enjoyed woodworking in his garage, golf, card games with friends, and dry martinis, always “with a twist.” Don found time for reading, mostly nonfiction, and he maintained an extensive collection of biographies. Don and Sally spent many weeks spoiling their eight grandchildren. Don’s love for his family and his hobbies was matched only by his love of travelling. Even into his late eighties, Don travelled to Finland with his son, Stephen and to Germany with his son, Eric.

Later in life, Don was blessed with four great-grandchildren that made his face light up. When Sally passed away in 2017, Don had Sally’s name inscribed on the inside of a special ring, a testament to their 67 years together.

Don will be missed dearly by his family and friends, who will remember him for his capacity to love, his easygoing charm, his kindness and gratitude for his caretakers, and his sense of humor inspired by many years of watching The Three Stooges.

In accordance with their wishes, Don and Sally’s ashes will be scattered into the waves of Lake Michigan, near the place where they first met on a Friday evening in April, 73 years ago. It will be the final chapter of their lifelong love story.

In lieu of flowers, charitable gifts in memory of Don can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, www.stjude.org, to which he was a regular donor or to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, www.pancan.org, to honor his son, Tom, who passed in 2021.


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