American Veteran 04

Donald Carl Burgdorf

February 27, 1936 ~ March 31, 2020 (age 84)


Donald Carl Burgdorf, age 84, passed away at his home in Hohenwald on March 31, 2020. He was born February 27, 1936 to Carl and Velma Irene Revier Burgdorf in Rochester, NY.

He graduated from Charlotte High School. He joined the Navy Reserves in 1953 and transferred to active duty in 1956. He served on a mine sweeper and was discharged in 1959. After leaving the Navy, he married Diana Booth in 1961. He owned and operated Trophy Custom, using his artistic ability to modify cars. He moved to Nashville and worked various places as a model maker, machinist and precision welder. Diana passed away after a long illness from complications of Parkinson’s.

Don was always an artist and musician. As a musician he played a Martin acoustic, a pedal steel and was learning to play the dobro. Don did many paintings and loved to do portraits. He was most famous for his wood carvings. He was published in Carving Magazine, writing how-to articles, and in Chip Chats, drawing patterns for other carvers. He traveled the country, teaching classes. In 2010, he was awarded the Ron Ryan Award by the Dayton Artistry in Wood Show. Locally Don exhibited his carvings in the Strand Art Gallery.

Don was always involved in church, teaching Sunday School, and doing a set of drawings he called “Soul Food,” which were published in the church bulletin. He wrote the “Looking Back” column for Validity Magazine. He also wrote an autobiography for his family so they would know about his life. He compiled his travel photos into a series of five books to preserve his memories.

Don married Sandra Roosa in 2007 and they moved to Hohenwald. They loved to travel, putting over 100,000 miles in a motorhome as they traveled to forty-eight states. They also loved cruising and had spent 257 days on various cruises. Don was a member of the Davy Crockett Chapter of the TN Good Sam Club and spent many enjoyable days camping with the group – especially enjoying the smores.

Don is survived by his wife, Sandie, of Hohenwald; son, Darryl (Joy) Burgdorf of Omaha; daughter, Darlene (Mark) Johnson of Murfreesboro; daughter, Debbie (Jonathon) McVay of Andalusia, AL; step-daughter, Alison Roosa of Kingston, NY; and grandchildren, Dan and Charlie Burgdorf; Daniel (Amber) Abston, Racheal Abston, Sarah (Hunter) Russell; Zack Johnson; Chris (Caity) Burgdorf, David (Tahliah) Peek, TJ (Brie) Peek; Josh (Taylor) McVay; Jake McVay; Michael Thomas; fifteen great-grandchildren; one sister, Jean Shorts; nephew, Scott (Gina) Shorts, niece, Debbie (Rick) Brown.

He was preceded in death by his parents; by his first wife, Diana; and by grandson, Carl Burgdorf.

Due to the restrictions placed forward in regards to COVID-19 a celebration of life will take place later into fall. The family would like to say thank you to Adair Funeral & Cremation services for their help with the arrangements during this time. 

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