Rolland Eugene "Ron" Burk
1926 - 2014
Rolland Eugene "Ron" Burk died at Twin Falls, Idaho, on August 16, 2014, at age 88. Ron was a resident of Dietrich, Idaho, and a long time former resident of Redding, California. Ron was born July 15, 1926, in Portland, Oregon, to Melva Burk and Charles Metzinger. He spent his early years with Melva and her husband, Floyd Murray, and later was adopted by his uncle and aunt, Wendell and Edna Burk.
Ron Burk attended Portland schools, and began working as a day laborer at the age of fourteen. He enlisted in the Navy on his seventeenth birthday, serving in the Pacific theater during World War II. He served as a torpedoman on sub-tenders and destroyers, including the USS Henderson, the USS Vasole and the USS F. B. Parks. He also served as a military policeman. His duties took him to various parts of Asia, including Shanghai and Saipan. After the war ended, Mr. Burk's unit was involved in clearing various islands in the Pacific of the bodies of Japanese soldiers and dismantling Japanese fortifications. Ron was a member of the Navy reserves from 1947 to 1952.
After the war, Ron worked as a brickmason and plied his trade in Oregon, California and Alaska for more than thirty years. He was a fifty-year member of the International Union of Bricklayers.
In 1968, Mr. Burk began his career as a corporate pilot, and flew for the company president of O'Hair Construction for eighteen years. In 1974, when the company plane's landing gear malfunctioned, Ron brought the aircraft down so safely that everyone walked away without a scratch. In later years, Ron flew the air ambulance aircraft for Mercy Hospital in Redding, California, where he also served on the airport commission. Ron earned an Air Transport Rating, was a certified flight instructor, flew for KRCR Channel Seven News in Redding, and occasionally flew the mail run to Sacramento.
Ron Burk loved adventure, skiing in the mountains of Idaho, flying into the Frank Church Wilderness area with his son to go camping and fishing, and riding his motorcycle with the Cal Tex riders on the annual "Three Flags Run" from Canada to Mexico. Ron enjoyed water-skiing and square dancing. He could repair anything from the kitchen sink to his airplane engine. He attended every graduation ceremony for his grandchildren from junior high school through the Ph.D.
Mr. Burk was a member of the Quiet Birdmen and the Gooding Flying Club, and he attended St. Peter's Catholic Church in Shoshone, Idaho.
Ron Burk will be forever remembered by his family and friends as a man of integrity, good humor and strong opinions. He is survived by his partner, Patricia Voloshen, of Dietrich, Idaho, and her great-grandchildren, Amara and Hattie. He is also survived by his sons, Michael Burk (Gail), of Scotts Valley, California, and Jeffrey Burk, of Las Vegas, Nevada; his grandchildren, Peter Burk, of Montpellier, France, Rachel Gable of Capitola, California, and Jeffrey Burk of Astoria, Oregon; as well as two great-grandchildren.
In addition, Mr. Burk is survived by the mother of his children, Marcella Burk, of Redding, California, his sisters Edith Nylund of Novato, California, Violet Maurer of Florence, Kentucky, and Theresa Weber (Dan) of Salem, Oregon; and his brothers Melvin Murray (Joanne) of Fort Apache, Arizona, Kenneth Murray (June) of Milwaukie, Oregon, and Keith Murray (Lois) of Kelso, Washington; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Ron was especially close to his cousin, Eleanor Canfield, of Vancouver, Washington.
He was predeceased by his sister, Arlene, and his brother, Dale.
At Mr. Burk's request, no services will be held. His ashes will be spread in the mountains he loved, at a later date.
Please sign the guestbook at http://obituaries.redding.com
Published in Redding Record Searchlight on Aug. 29, 2014