Donald J. Burkett

September 25, 1930 ~ September 16, 2018 (age 87)

Donald J. Burkett

September 25, 1930- September 16, 2018

Life is more than Birth--Death, every dash is the story. This is Don’s Story.

Don was born to Walter and Mildred Burkett and raised with his two brothers, Dick and Jerry who preceded him in death. They grew up on a farm in Richland Center and Don’s fondest memory as a child was their weekly trip to town to sell eggs and cream. The boys always knew each trip would end with a visit to Fleming’s Ice Cream Shop (formerly located in the old Dugout) as they left town to return home.

Don’s life forever changed when he met a cute little carhop in Plymouth. Jacqueline Couse never planned on falling for a “Farm boy” but that’s exactly what she did! On December 16, 1950 he asked her what she wanted to do that evening and she said, “Let’s Elope” and that’s exactly what they did. They headed off on their journey and became man and wife in Greensburg, Indiana. This December would have mark sixty eight years and they were a true example of a good marriage. She survives.

Don and Jackie were the proud parents of three sons, William (Melinda), Patrick (Robin), and Michael (Cheryl). Don’s favorite memories with the boys were from camping across the United States when they were children. He will be sadly missed and remembered with great love from his eight grandchildren. Don delighted in his relationship with his grandchildren and in these later years, his true joy was the addition of sixteen great grandchildren who always put a smile on his face.

Don was a man of many talents, there was nothing he couldn’t do or figure out. He worked at Dean Foods and served as Maintenance Supervisor before leaving after nineteen years to pursue a different career.  He joined the insurance business and became a Prudential Agent. He was promoted to manager and he and his staff served the Rochester Community for a total of nineteen years before retiring and joining his wife at her Gift and Collectable business known locally as The Book Store. His “nitch” in their business became framing collectable prints. They owned the store for…. yes, nineteen years before they both retired to enjoy their home on the lake and winters in Florida. Wynnfield Crossing has been their home since last year.

Don enjoyed retirement and his passion was golf. At least four to five time a week he enjoyed the game and delighted in time spent with his golf buddies. You guys (and you know who you are) brought him some of the greatest joy in his life. His family learned “It never Rains on the Golf Course”.

Over the years, Don was active in many organizations and clubs. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, Lions Club, Rochester Jaycees and Odd Fellows. He established the first chapter of Ducks Unlimited in Fulton County. He served four years on the School Board and was elected Township Trustee. He took his trustee job very seriously and often told the story of when people would call for help, he would meet them at the grocery store and say “this is how it works, no chips, no cigarettes, no pop, only things to feed your family well” and he would wait for them at the register. He would also call them with a job for the day and tell them where and when to show up. More than once, someone would tell him “they never made me do this before” and he would follow with “well I’m the new guy”.

Those close to Don know that he was not a fan of funerals and did not want one of his own. Therefore, no formal visitation or funeral will take place. Instead a Private Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. The family has asked that memorial donations be made to Matthews’ Market at the Cross Church. Arrangements are by Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, Indiana. Online condolences may be expressed at

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