Don L. Burghardt, 89, of Chippewa Falls, died Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at home surrounded by family and friends, while under the care of St. Croix Hospice.
Don was born on December 16, 1931, in Bloomer, WI to Aldro and Anna (Olson) Burghardt.
He attended Bloomer schools and played football and basketball in high school and remained friendly with the basketball team, “The Fabulous Five” as they called themselves. He graduated in 1950 and served in the Army in Korea from 1951-1954.
Following his discharge from the Army, he played full time for the Babe Wagner Band and Whoopie John, both bands based out of MN but well known to the area. He then began working for Case Company in Racine and remained there for over 20 years.
Music was Don’s passion and he played for many bands and events over the years, earning many awards and recognition for his talent. He was an avid reader of history and biographies and followed Jeopardy religiously, hoping to get the answer before the contestant did.
In 2010, he moved to Chippewa Falls to be closer to grandchildren and family.
Don was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, life member of the VFW, and a member of the American Legion Post #77.
Don is survived by his wife of 42 years, Barbara; children, Twyla Wirth of Boyceville, Sheila Burghardt of Key West, FL, and Don Jr. (Suzanne) of Fall Creek; stepchildren, Susan (Gary) Reavis of Jasper, GA, Jennifer (Mo) Morrone of Racine, Stephen Brook of Sydney, MT, and Michael (Monica) Brook of San Rafael, CA; 13 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Lois Burghardt of Merrillan, WI; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Leona; brothers, Clinton and Elmer; sisters, Vivian Koch, Phyllis Chrystal, and Doris Burghardt; and stepdaughter, Rose Brook.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 201 W. Central St., Chippewa Falls with Rev. Eddie Crise officiating. Military Honors will be provided by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council.
Visitation will begin at 12 p.m., Saturday at the church.
Interment will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, May 2 at Southern WI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Union Grove, WI.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Trinity United Methodist Church or the American Legion Post #77.