STEVEN JOSEPH BURCKHARD
August 4, 1954 ~ January 23, 2015
On January 23 at 9:56 p.m., Steven Joseph Burckhard was able to see his family and friends for the first time. Steven was born to Mary and Adam Burckhard on Aug. 4, 1954 in Yakima, WA. He was a premature baby and was blinded shortly after birth due to excessive oxygen in an incubator. In 1960, his family moved to Vancouver in order for Steven to attend the State School for the Blind where he graduated in 1974 as Valedictorian.
Steven was extremely adventurous and loved challenges, so he continued his education at Clark College in the auto mechanics program. He became very proficient at engine/auto repairs, especially on brakes, and he was the first person family and friends called when they had an auto problem.
Steven was employed at Blind Enterprises of Oregon where he ran a machine making name tags for the military. He worked his way up to Supervisor and was sent to North Carolina to learn how to operate new machinery. Steven's love of his job required him to take a two hour plus daily car/bus transfer to and from work every day. Due to health issues, Steven was forced to retire in 2012.
Following retirement, Steven enjoyed being an active member of the Eagles where he was a trustee for several years. He enjoyed following the Seahawks, Mariners, and Trail Blazers and spending time on his ham radio.
Steven was preceded in death by his parents; his older brothers, Dennis and Edward; and his two guide dogs, Ringo and Jericho.
He is survived by daughters, Katie Burckhard and Koren (Allen) Meyer; grandchildren, Emma and Elijah Meyer; sisters, Marveline Burckhard, Jeanette Burckhard and Lisa Truax-Thomson; brother, Duane (Sandy) Burckhard; niece, Kimberly (Bill) Lavalley; nephews, Scott (Kristin) Burckhard, Mark (Angela) Burckhard, Darren Truax Jr., and Parker Truax; his guide dog, Niven; and numerous other relatives.
A Catholic service will be held on Sat., Jan. 31, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with a Rosary at 9:30 a.m. and Mass at 10:00 a.m.
Memorials can be made to Guide Dogs For The Blind, 32901 SE Kelso Road, Boring, OR 97009.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/oibts
Published by The Columbian on Jan. 29, 2015.