John William Burckhard, 71, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away on January 19, 2015 at home, surrounded by his family and a special friend, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.

John William Burckhard, 71, of Devils Lake, ND, passed away on January 19, 2015 at home, surrounded by his family and a special friend, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.  


Mass of the Resurrection for John will be held on Friday, January 23 at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with burial in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Devils Lake on Thursday, January 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a Scripture Service at 7:30 p.m.


Casket bearers for John will be his grandchildren.


John William Burckhard was born on July 31, 1943 in Fort Wayne, IN, the son of J.W. “Bill” and Josephine (Huebschwerlen) Burckhard.
In 1944 the family moved to Minnewaukan and shortly thereafter to Devils Lake where he was raised and educated.  John attended elementary school in Devils Lake and graduated from Central High School with the class of 1961.


John attended the University of North Dakota, where he played basketball for the Fighting Sioux.  He graduated in 1967 with a degree in education.
John was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Becker, on February 1, 1964 at St. Joseph Church in Devils Lake.

 
Following college graduation, John taught History and Physical Education and coached men’s basketball at Lake Region Junior. College.  In 1972 he received his Master of Education degree.


In 1976, John and Marilyn bought Miller’s Inn Steakhouse and Lounge and moved their family to Lakota.  He was in the restaurant business for nine years and then returned to education and became a Guidance Counselor and the boys’ and girls’ basketball coach at Lakota High School.  John received a degree in Counseling from UND in the mid 80’s.


In 1989 John and Marilyn bought Champions Downtown Bar and moved back to Devils Lake.


In 2003 John and his 1964 -1966 Fighting Sioux teammates were inducted into the UND Basketball Hall of Fame.


In 2005 John sold the bar and retired.  He then worked part-time as an insurance adjustor for Doss & Associates and a driver for ND School for the Deaf.  


John enjoyed playing cards with his friends each day and helping coach his granddaughter’s “Firehawks” traveling basketball team. His greatest joy were his grandchildren.  He traveled many miles to spend time with them and watch them play their many sports.


He is survived by his wife of almost 51 years, Marilyn; children, Kelly (Lance) Anderson, Hillsboro, OR, Kristi (Jerome) Ziegler, Devils Lake and Kevin Burckhard, Aberdeen, SD; grandchildren, Sloan Anderson, Witchita, KS, Marly Anderson, Cheney, WA, Abby Anderson, Hillsboro, OR, Averi and Addison Ziegler, Devils Lake, and Paiton, Reece and Lauryn Burckhard, Aberdeen, SD; brothers and sister-in-law, Bruce and Pat Burckhard, Devils Lake and Terry Burckhard, Boise, ID; sisters and brother-in-law, Barb Herda, Lakota, Bonnie and Lee LaBarre, Webster, and Jackie Stromberg, Boise, ID; uncle, John Huebschwerlen, San Leandro, CA; several nieces, nephews and cousins.


John was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Marley and Emma Becker; brother-in-law, Tom Herda.


Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is assisting the family with arrangements.