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Darrel “DB” Russell Burkhardt

January 11, 2020 | 24 comments

Darrel Russell Burkhardt, aged 82, affectionately known as “DB” went to be with the Lord and his longtime hunting camp; fishing buddies on January 10, 2020 when his incredibly big heart finally gave out.

DB was born December 30, 1937 in the Township of Harmony, Wisconsin to parents Russell and Mildred Henry Burkhardt. He grew up a farm kid in the ‘BAD AXE’ and would reminisce about “walking 10 miles to school – uphill both ways – in the snow” as a child.
He enjoyed the outdoors and had many memories of trapping, fishing and hunting during his formative years.

He moved to La Crosse as a teenager and graduated in 1956 from Central High School. After high school he served his country as a member of the National Guard into the early 1960’s. In the late 1950’s he began work at Trane Company where he caught the eye of a beautiful co-worker Judith Johnson of La Crosse. They were married in June of 1960.

The marriage produced four sons which were their greatest accomplishment. The marriage to Judy has been for 59 ½ years and will continue into eternity.
In the 1970’s DB began his own business focused on the sales of manufactured housing. He operated Burkhardt’s Mobile Homes for many years and then became Sales Manager at Onalaska Mobile Homes. He also worked as a Flooring Contractor with his longtime friend Jerry Hansen and continued spending time on his manufactured home “turnaround projects” with
his sons to his very last day.

His favorite hobbies focused on the outdoors which included fishing, hunting and a bit of golfing. He was an avid deer Hunter and spent many a deer camp with his sons and other family members over the past 65 years. Many deer hunting experiences led to great stories usually about the “Big Buck” that got away in Millston and another missed “Big Buck” in Taylor years later. There were many stories of great and successful hunts including the year the “meat pole” broke in half because the group had taken too many deer. In this past hunting season we managed to get two deer on opening day before 8:30 am which brought him joy and made him proud.

He also loved the Green Bay Packers but would occasionally jump on the bandwagon of other teams for no apparent reason. He like to talk about the “Colts” and the “Panthers” when they were on the upswing. However he was an ardent Packer fan and passed that tradition down to his sons and grandchildren.

We think he had a hand in that last game against the Seahawks. DB loved to tell stories and could fix anything with duct tape, caulk and some shims. As a child from the depression era he never threw anything away and he could spend hours in his garage with the odds and ends he collected.

DB was a devoted Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather.
He is survived by his wife Judith and four sons; Randall (Wendy), Daniel (Jackie), Michael and Steven (Jessica); by sisters Valerie and Eleanor and many nieces and nephews. He leaves 10 wonderful grandchildren* that were the apple of his eye; Regina (Colin Peterson), Scott (Amy) , Ryan (Serena), Aaron, Randall II, Mason, Tiana, Weston, Gavyn and Marlee and two great grandchildren Emma and William.

He always provided a calming effect with every holiday gathering by relaxing with his family, enjoying every story, and he provided nothing but love and looked forward to seeing us whenever possible” – Grandson Ryan.
DB was preceded in death by his Father Russell Burkhardt, Mother Mildred Henry Burkhardt and Stepmother Millie; Sister Anne, Brother Ronnie, and Sister Lori.

Services are scheduled for Friday January 17th at 4pm at The Gathering Place located on 133 Mason Street in Onalaska. Visitation is from 4pm to 5pm with a formal service by Reverend Scott Skogen at 5pm and reception to follow. In lieu of flowers please contribute to the Down Syndrome Foundation in the name of his great grandson William Peterson at www.downsyndromefoundation.org/donate.

Click here to view DB’s web video.




  1. Joseph T. Bean

    My condolences and prayers go out to the Burkhardt family.

    • Brad bURKHARDT

      Hello: I am so sorry to have to hear about the loss and tragedy of my cousin Darrel. He and me more less grew up together near the Ferryville, Wis. area. It was in an area that was called Boama Ridge. He was the oldest son out of a family of six (6) children. Him being the oldest brother of family. He had (4) sisters at this time naming oldest on down. Lorraine, Darlene, Elinore and Valeria. His only brother Ronnie drowned back around year 1971 or possibly a few years earlier or later. I can not remember exactly what year was involved. During various years of my childhood all of the combined families of my uncles and aunts which were 12 various Burkhardt combined families would have a 4th July picnic down at the DeSoto picnic grounds next to the mighty Mississippi river. Darrel also loved deer hunting with my Dad, Marion, Uncle Russell and myself. We loved hunting in Jackson County area not far from Millston which provided all of us with lots of deer and excellent hunting. Our good and gracious lord looks out and provides for everyone who comes to him and asks him to come into their hearts> Good bye. Love Brad

  2. Sharon Stalsberg

    Deepest sympathy to Burkhardt family. Keeping you in our prayers

  3. Karen K. Smaby

    Judy: I am so sorry for your loss. I saw him Friday night at The Dug Out. And see that he passed that same day. I’m so sorry. Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Kathryn Nichols

    Our Condolences to the Burkhardt Family, You are all in our thoughts. RIP Darrel. until we meet again.

  5. Judith Conrad

    Dear Judy and family, I am so sorry to hear that you lost Darrel. We always enjoyed our camping events with you two. May our Lord comfort you during this difficult time in your life. Love and hugs from an old friend, Judy Conrad

  6. Rose Ringelman

    So sorry for your loss prayers for you. Cherish all those incredible happy memories.

  7. Judi Konze

    Judy: So very sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Melody Rommes

    Judy and Family, may you find some peace at this difficult time. So sorry for your family’s loss.

  9. Gary Hougom

    Our deepest condolences to Dan-Jackie and the entire Burkhardt family.
    Gary-Dawn Hougom

  10. Bill (Will) and Karen Fries Arizona

    Judy our sympathy to you and your family. Our prayers are with you.

  11. Larry Otto

    I have very good memories of past days and feel sorry about Darrel’s

    • The Dus Family

      Our thoughts and prayers are with you all🙏

  12. Wendy and Tom DiVenere

    The DiVenere family sends their deepest condolences and prayers for an incredible and glorious man. We are lovingly supporting you from afar. RIP “DB”.

  13. Dan, Tracy, Kole and Karson Buelow

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Judy, and the rest of the family. We hope you find peace in the happy memories.

  14. Lois Hanson

    Hey Judy sorry for your loss. I didn’t really know Darrel but I am sure he will be dearly missed. If there is any thing I can do just yell over the back fence. God bless you and your family.

  15. mick Hentges

    With a great sadness and heavy heart i offer my condolences to the Burkhardt family. Its easy to relate to all the good times of the hunting and fishing stories, db was like and older brother to me ,and always spoke of his sons with dignity and respect. And I remember the thirty point buck running across the field ,400 yds out, throwing great clods of mud and snow in the air,i can still hear the sound of the hoof beats on the ground,as we all stood in agast as that wise old buck slipped away.Peace be with you my brother, thank you for your friendship.

  16. Michael & Janis Schrader

    Dear Judy, we are so sorry for your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

  17. Rochelle Oldenburg

    We are so sorry for the loss of your dad Mike, our thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I always enjoy hearing all the stories from the Lee boys about your dad, they always make me laugh, I am sorry I never had the opportunity to meet him, he will be missed. We are here if you need anything, I would love to hear even more stories! Thinking of you, Chris & Rochelle

  18. Gene & Pam Larson

    Judy, We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Kathy Haller

      Sorry for your loss Judy and family

  19. Gary Skogen

    So sorry to hear about your loss. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Mary Semerak

      My Condolences for Uncle Darrell I’m Darlene Annamaes daughter just met some of the family 20 + years ago and Uncle Darrell certainly told some great story’s about my mother Darlene & kids growing up…It sounds like he lived a great life with the love of family! God Bless Him & His Family. Mary &Pete,AydenSemerak Scappoose OR.

    • Deanna Lisota

      Condolences to you Judy and your family. Many great memories come to mind from years gown by. Prayers to all.

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