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Burdette R. DaBell


1930 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Burdette R. DaBell Obituary

Burdette R. DaBell, of Idaho Falls, died at his home on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

He was born June 25, 1930, in Idaho Falls, to Emmett Warren and Elma Rounds DaBell. He grew up in the Grant and Lewis-ville areas, helped his dad and Uncle Wayne with the sheep during the winter lambing season, and spent summers with his dad herding sheep in Spencer and Island Park.

He attended grade school at Grant and high school at Midway High School, and graduated from Idaho Falls High School.

On Sept. 16, 1948, Burdette married Dorothy LaVern Williams. They were later divorced.

In the early 1950s, he ran Fairway Service. Then he joined Phillips Petroleum Co., at the now INL, where he worked for various contractors from 1956 to 1991. He worked on the SPERT and PBF reactors. In 1985 and 1986 he assisted in the investigation of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. He was a senior project manager on many other projects at INL. In 1971, he was a founding partner in Solitude Sports, Inc.

After retirement, he traveled in Mexico and the Southwest. He eventually decided that the Southwest was the place to spend winters. He and Patricia Mekker bought land west of Wickenburg, Ariz., where they built a real adobe house. They spent winters there and summers at their cabin at Palisades. In 2010, they returned to Idaho Falls. Soon after, Burdette was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Burdette enjoyed reading, building, backpacking, canoeing, skiing and anything to do with mountains. He was always studying, seeking knowledge and learning. In recent years, he and Pat devoted much of their time and energy to helping his sister and her husband cope with their health problems.

Burdette's long-time companion, Patricia Mekker, survives him. Other survivors include his sons, Richard (Mollie) of Santa Monica, Calif., and Bradley (Sheila) of Idaho Falls. His grandson is Bijan DaBell, and his granddaughter is Cathleen Smith; he has four great-grandchildren. Burdette's sister, Sheryn Leavitt (Boyd), and his brother, Jerry DaBell (Christy) also survive him.

A sister, Alona; and his parents preceded him in death.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at Eckersell Memorial Chapel in Rigby.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.

Published in Post Register on May 23, 2014
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