Roland Bruno Burkert 1955 - 2013 Roland Burkert was born in Hanau, Germany and grew up in the small town Oberrodenbach. He immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of 6. Through truly humble beginnings he and his family worked their way across this country until finally finding a home in Southern California. Roland joined the US Navy when he was 17, and served aboard the USS Truxtun, a small nuclear frigate, during the end of the Vietnam war. Roland received an Honorable discharge and upon leaving the Navy began his work to realize the American Dream. Throughout his life Roland was an adventurer and thrill seeker. He communed with nature in a way most people could never realize. His passions included photography, sailing, and mountaineering. All of which encompassed the underlying theme of appreciating the beauty in his surroundings. A great passion of his was the sport of rock climbing. No matter what mountain summit he found himself on, or how difficult or technical his last climb was, he would always look forward to the next challenge. This point of view permeated his whole world view, and translated well into his work ethic, and the love he had for his family. He also spent time volunteering for the St John's youth group, bringing people closer to God through the appreciation of nature. Roland went on to meet his loving wife Carol in Bakersfield in 1977. They spent 36 wonderful years together, and went on to create a loving family and everlasting memories. Roland endeavored to better himself and his community and help those around him whenever he could. He had a very successful career throughout his life. But was most proud of his time spent running his own consulting business working with non-profits and the government. He felt especially rewarded for the time he spent with BARC, helping to create business opportunities and jobs benefiting the disabled in our community. Roland had a unique sense of humor and a hunger for life that can never be replaced. He will surely be missed by those who knew him. Roland is survived by his family through his wife Carol, two sons Sam and Charlie, daughter Molly, grandson Chandler, father Helmut, and his two sisters Luana and Christina. He was preceded in death by his mother Renata. God called Roland home on June 29th, 2013. He was 58 years old. Roland had many more dreams he had hoped to realize in life, if given the time. He leaves it to his family to pick up the torch. Roland will be buried at the National Cemetery on Friday at 10:45 am. His memorial is scheduled for Saturday at St. Johns Lutheran Church on Buena Vista at 4:00 pm. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 3, 2013