Donald R. “Don” Burkholder

April 16, 1931 ‒ October 25, 2019

Galion, Ohio

Donald Ray “Don” Burkholder, 88, of Galion, OH, born April 16, 1931 in Wooster OH was called by the Lord to be with his son Michael who proceded his death in 2004. Don is the son of Ray N and Lela M (Gottfried) Burkholder.  Don’s brother, Leonard Burkholder and sister Ellamae Burkholder Sturgeon also proceeded Don’s death.  Don passed away on Friday October 25, 2019 after a short illness.

Don graduated from the Mansfield Senior High School in 1949. During his high school years, Don worked as a shoe salesman developing a good work ethic that carried through his career and life.  After High School, Don worked for Westinghouse in Mansfield, OH transferred to Westinghouse in Columbus, OH and then back to Westinghouse in Mansfield in 1955.  A day later, back in Mansfield, he met the love of his life, Marilyn J. Bender at a square dance in Johnsville, OH.  They married on October 26, 1957 (October 26, 2019 will be Don and Marilyn’s 62nd Wedding Anniversary.  They shared a beautiful life together).  Don then began a long career at Gorman-Rupp.  After retiring Don continued contract work with Gorman-Rupp as a Senior Design Pump Engineer part-time.  Don was in the Air National Guard as part of his service to our country.  As many of his friends and family knew, Don was an avid runner competing in many local races well into his 80’s.

For anyone that knew Don he was a beautiful person with a lifetime smile and quick wit that brought a contagious positive feeling to everyone that met him.  Don was a humble man who would light up a room with his white hair and tall stature.  The world lost a hard worker, a wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather, Uncle and Father-in-Law.  Don and Marilyn were inseparable over their 62 years of marriage and represent the epitome of life love.

Don and Marilyn had two children, their son Dr. Michael D. Burkholder DDS who proceeded Don’s death was an undergraduate of The Ohio State University and a graduate of Ohio State’s School of Dental Medicine in 1986 and daughter Paula J (Burkholder) Trudeau who obtained a BS degree from The Ohio State University in 1988.  Paula is married to Ray Trudeau, who holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University (they reside in both Galion and New Albany, OH).  Paula and Ray have 3 children Courtney Trudeau (currently in Dental School in Utah), Austin Trudeau (currently a Computer Engineering Student in Michigan) and Brandon who is a senior in High School and is a remarkable ice hockey player.

We miss you dearly and are thankful for your influence in our lives and all of the wonderful memories we shared.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes, 218 South Market St., Galion, Ohio 44833 where services will be held at Saturday at 7:00 p.m. with Rev. Joe Stafford officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in care of the funeral home.

Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes in Galion is honored to serve the family of Don Burkholder, and condolences may be made to them at

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  • The world lost a humble, hardworking, kind hearted, funny and beautiful person today. Marilyn’s husband, Paula’s Dad, our kids Grampa and my amazing Father-In-Law sadly passed away today. It was time for him to spend more time with his son who tragically passed away before him in 2004. Rest in Peace Grampa. We love you!

  • Marilyn,
    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your dear husband. I rarely saw you without him at your side. He always had a smile on his face. I thank you again for your kindness to my brother Steve. I know your memories will sustain you at this difficult time. God Bless You!

    Glenn and Marsha McCracken Cheesman

  • So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time

  • I am so sorry for your loss of this wonderful man. My you know that he is now resting in God’s arms and has no cares or illness. Prayers to you and your family during this difficult time.

  • From Susan 😢So sorry to hear the sad news. It’s never easy. I lost my Dad over 25 years ago. Be grateful for all the years you have spent with him. He was a very lucky man to have such a wonderful family. You have my deepest sympathy.🙏🏻

  • To a fellow veteran I never knew,
    Thank God for your service
    Thank God for you!
    Life dealt you a hand, you played the cards,
    A man you were, for your family,
    For them, you worked hard
    As life continued, you carried on, building a legacy, for your family to Dawn ,
    You’ve made your mark and shared your love,
    Donald, sir, from this day forward, embrace God’s love

  • Dear Mrs. Burkholder & Paula & Family,
    Sending you our most sincere condolences on the passing of your Husband, Father, Father-in-law & Grandpa. It’s never easy, especially after 62 years of marriage to a Man who blessed all of you, each in his own way. I’m sure you all have found comfort & peace knowing he is now with Michael. Our prayers and blessings are with you.

    • Thank you for thinking of us and your good thoughts.
      Lucky to have had the years we did.
      It’s hard but for the best.

  • To a fellow veteran, I never knew
    Thank God for your service
    Thank God for you

    Life dealt you a hand
    You played the cards
    A man you were, for your family, for them
    You worked hard

    As life continued, you carried on
    Building a legacy
    For your family to Dawn

    You’ve made your mark
    And shared your love
    From this day forward
    You guard from above
    Your life friend
    Michael Goodreau

    • Thank you so much. That was real nice.
      Grateful for thinking of us. We were blessed he was a good guy and will be sorely missed.

  • Dear Paula and family,

    We were saddened to hear of the loss of your father. Know that our prayers are with you and all of your loved ones at this difficult time. Losing a parent is always hard, no matter how old we are as their children. Your father sounds like a loving and accomplished man. May he rest in the peace of Christ,

    With love,

    Jerry and Joyce Tredeau

  • Mike and I are so sorry for the loss of your husband, Father and Grandfather. It’s hard to lose you Dad. We will keep your family in our prayers

  • Donald is in a much better place than we are in. Grieving is hard and seems to never stop but rest assured, you will see him again.
    We are so very sorry for your loss.

    Steve & Joanie Sinkler
    Ontonagon, Michigan

  • Good morning Ray, Paula and Family.

    Our family is so sorry to hear about your loss. Please know y’all are in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing Mr. Burkholder’s story with us. He sounds like a great man. Let us know if you need anything.

    Love you. 

    Thank you,
    Scott Tredeau

  • Dear Mrs. Burkholder, Paula, Ray, Courtney, Austin, and Brandon:

    We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We feel blessed to have had the pleasure of meeting Don. His story reflects what a remarkable man he was. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

    Love to each of you!
    Gary & Kim Tredeau

  • When I was younger (and much more foolish) I used to think it wouldn’t be so hard to lose a parent if they had lived a full life. With age I have come to realize it will never be “less hard” to lose a parent. The longer we are blessed with their presence on this earth, the more time we have had to love them. Sending hugs to your family during this time of sadness.

  • Our families thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. May God wrap your father in his arms and welcome him home.
    God Bless.

  • Dear Marilyn, Paula, Ray, Courtney, Austin and Brandon

    We are so Blessed when we have parents that are so remarkable in so many ways.

    We personally did not know your Dad, Father in Law and Grandpa, but over the years the stories we were told about him marked a Special place in our hearts for him.

    The loss of a Parent breaks your heart, but by knowing they are still with you in the memories you have and in your heart they are no further away then a thought.

    God has Blessed all of us with eternal life and the Broken Chain will reunite us
    again forever.

    All of you are in our Hearts and Prayers Always,

    Mark and Rose Lee Slocum

  • Dear Marilyn,

    I wanted to personally write to you, and tell you how sorry we are for loss, your Husband who was a remarkable man according to all the stories we heard, will be missed by many.

    May God hold your hand until you are reunited with your husband, who awaits you
    in heaven.

    Love and God Bless you,

    Mark and Rose Lee Slocum

  • Paula and her whole family are in our thoughts and prayers. It has been hard watching Ray and Paula waiting for the inevitable. It’s comforting to know Don is in a better place and will no longer suffer. I love you guys!

    • Yes he’s in a better place and not suffering like he was here. He’ll be missed that’s for sure. Love

  • Our sincerest condolences for you at this time. You have or deepest sympathy. Prayers to you and all your family.

  • Very sorry for your loss. I never met Don but his so n in law Ray spoke so highly about him. Love & prayers are with you & your family.

  • There is nothing like the words a Father gives to make you strong
    to get you through the difficult time
    Memories of him will be with you so very long
    The love between you two, is truly one of a kind!
    Know that he is with you, every single day!
    Have the faith that he truly is up above
    listening closely while you pray
    and reminding you that you are LOVED!

  • My deepest sympathy to all of you. Those we hold closest to our hearts never leave us. They live on in the kindness they’ve shared and the love they’ve brought into our lives.

  • Marilyn,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Paula as you work through the loss of Don. We had the privilege of meeting you both a few years ago. May God shower you with blessings!

  • My condolences to your family. I had the pleasure of working with Don up to the day he retired. After retirement I ran into him often – mainly at the local flea market where he would go out of his way to approach me saying “1414” which was my old phone number. He took pride in the fact that he both remembered me and my old phone. I appreciated that too! As well as he had the strongest handshake I will never forget – bone crushing! He was always smiling and am so glad to have known him. Thoughts and prayers are with you all!

    • What a nice message. I know Don always enjoyed seeing you. Appreciate your thoughts & prayers. Thank you.

  • Your family is in my prayers. In this difficult time be reminded of all the good times you shared and that he is now at peace in the house of our Lord. When the time is ment to be you will each be reunited to share this glory. Take care.

  • Thinking of your family and sending lots of love and prayers.
    With deepest sympathy, Alina, Nick and Jaime Ruppel

  • I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your family member. May God comfort you in your grief. Memories and photographs will be of the utmost importance now. Love brought you together and by the grace of God it will bring you back together. Ray since I know you best I ask you to bring comfort to your family, I know you can do this.

  • So sorry for your loss of this wonderful man! May your wonderful memories bring you comfort during this difficult time. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  • Hi Marilyn. Sorry to hear about Don. It’s never easy to loose anyone. You have been in my prayers.

  • Dear Marilyn, Paula Jo and family,

    I just recent!y heard Don had passed. I am so sorry for your loss and am praying for you and your family at this difficult time. Although he is with our Lord now, left behind are all of the warm and wonderful memories you must have from your life together. I hope these will comfort you and give you reason to smile.

    I am Laurie Jo (Thrall) Woodward. My grandma was Ellamae. My mom is Shirley Thrall. Marilyn, I have met you and Don several times over the years and I think I met Paula Jo just once.

    My family and I have you in our thoughts and prayers. Our condolences to you and yours.

    Warmest regards,

    Laurie Jo Woodward and family

    • Bless your heart. That was so precious. I get the family connections all messed up. Glad you clarified.
      Hope Shirley is doing better and her husband too.
      Take care. Stay in touch.Love,

  • I’ve lost a special friend in Don’s passing however we will meet up again for lunch in a place far better.Till we meet again . Bob

    • So good to hear from you. Thanks.
      have to believe that don’t we. Take care. Hope all going well for you too. Love, Marilyn