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07/30/1924 — 11/04/2022
From Richland, WA
On 4 November 2022 at the age of 98, Edward G. Burnet Sr. made his final landing. He quietly passed away at home surrounded by his five children. Ed was born on 30 July 1924 to Edward F. Burnet and Jennie S. Burnet (Ramey) in Mountain Home, Idaho. Ed was always particularly proud of his Idaho heritage. He was raised in mining towns such as Atlanta, Idaho and Nyssa, Oregon during the Great Depression. He was very fond of Atlanta, returning many times with family members to share the area’s history and enjoy a good soak in the hot springs.
Ed had multiple talents and interests, but aviation was his passion. Ed’s interest was fostered by his uncle, A.A. Bennett who was a noted pioneer aviator in the frontier territory of Alaska. Ed learned to fly and soloed in 1939. He always kept his pilot logbooks current from that initial solo throughout seven decades of safe flying. During World War II, Ed was in the Army Air Corp, flying B-24 Bombers. As the Bombers came off the production line in Michigan, Ed gave final inspections before flying each plane to its next stateside destination.
As the war ended, Ed was in Long Beach CA and given leave. He hopped on his 1935 Harley Davidson motorcycle, rode to Prosser WA to visit family, then on to the East Coast, dropping a kidney along the way. He ended up selling the Harley to buy a wedding ring for his future bride, Harriet Elaine Korsvik of Prosser. They married on 27 October 1945. Ed then attended the Perry Technical Institute, studying aviation mechanics in Yakima WA. They moved to Seattle, purchased a home while Ed worked for Boeing. In December 1949, they moved to Richland WA where Ed began work at the Hanford Project as a nuclear operator. The family grew to five children and Ed affectionately called them his “house apes.” The family has many fond memories of Ed taking them camping, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, clam digging, gold mining in the streams, and flying their Piper Clipper airplane for the children’s enjoyment.
Ed was community minded — he was a volunteer deputy and scuba diver for the Richland Police and Commander of the Civil Air Patrol at Richland’s airfield. Some of Ed’s aviation exploits were noted in the local newspaper — such when he observed an automobile wreck on the highway west of town, he landed his plane on the highway, picked up the injured driver and flew him to the Richland airport to a waiting ambulance. Ed had many poignant memories of search and rescue missions with the Civil Air Patrol.
Ed started and co-owned the famed Richland Flying Service which offered numerous aviation-related services. He was the first civilian pilot to land at the Richland Airport in 1961. On the 60th anniversary of this event in 2021, when Ed was 97, the Port of Benton honored him with a large celebration at the airport and by naming the control tower in his name — Edward G. Burnet.
In the early 1980’s, Ed relocated to Spirit Lake Idaho where he and Harriet designed and built a beautiful log home on ten wooded acres. While still working in aviation, Ed also continued with his woodworking hobby, building fine-quality furnishings. The Spirit Lake home was the site of many family get togethers — family reunions, holidays, birthdays, weddings, and many weekend getaways. All have fond memories of gathering around the large fire pit.
In 2005, Ed and Harriet relocated back to Richland to be closer to family. A grand caravan of enthusiastic children and grand-children, trucks, trailers, and other family vehicles relocated them from North Idaho. Ed & Harriet spent a couple hours closing utilities and finalizing business and by time they arrived at their new home, everything was unpacked, cupboards filled, and the bed made. Ed was fully retired by then but continued his passion for fine woodworking, immediately setting up a shop in his garage.
Ed’s interests in aviation, motorcycling, mining, genealogy, Atlanta, scuba diving and camping are fondly remembered by all. He was a good storyteller, recounting his and family history and was very proud of a 600-page memoire he authored.
Ed was an animal lover, and his most favorite pets were the four Golden Retrievers he and Harriet had throughout the years. Ed even built a log cabin doghouse out of the logs from his Spirit Lake property. Ed and Harriet enjoyed watching all the wildlife, big, small, and feathered at the homes in Idaho and Richland.
Ed felt most at home flying. He observed cloud formations and commented if they had the perfect lift for glider flying. If he heard a twin engine airplane overhead, he could tell you if the engines were not synchronized. Ed was an FAA inspector into his 90’s and always enjoyed reminiscing with pilots and friends at the airport.
Ed is survived by children Janice (Tom) Atkinson, Patty (Butch) Hall, Cathy (Rick) Poynor, Barbara (Errol) Story, and Eddie Burnet Jr, sister-in-law Virginia Burnet, as-well-as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Ed was preceded in death by his in-laws George and Serena Korsvik, his parents Edward and Jennie, stepfather Frank Ramey, son-in-law Robert Dean, brother Duane Burnet and wife Harriet Elaine.
To celebrate Ed’s life, a Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held on Friday, April 14th at 1:30 PM at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 915 Bypass Hwy, Richland, WA.
In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to give to your favorite charity or to a no-kill animal shelter. Tell them Ed sent you.
I will miss you grandpa and forever Love you. May you cherish your time forever in God’s kingdom.
Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and will forever be in are hearts Uncle Ed.
CAVU Ed. Your “On It”.
We are so sorry for your loss. Uncle Ed is with Aunt Harriet forever. He lived a long, adventurous life that was filled with love of his family and his passion for flying. Our thoughts are with you all.
One of my favorite memories of Ed was him, in his mid-80’s climbing down the side of a near-cliff in Atlanta Idaho with three of his sons-in-laws to soak in the hot springs. “It felt damn good”.
Our condolences to the Burnet family. We are grateful for the many years we had Ed & Harriet as our neighbors. We couldn’t ask for better friends & neighbors. Thanks Ed for the memories.
My deepest sympathy to the entire Burnet family..Keep those precious memories close to your heart.
My heart goes out to all your family! Your dad was a wonderful and kind person. Remember he is without pain and with your mother again.
So many memories if my dad and Eddie and their flying stories. He was a dedicated pilot and friend to many
So sorry for your loss, Ed.
I didn’t know you or your dad…but I was a little kid living on Chestnut ’67-’68 and remember your family living on Cedar.
Eddie (and family!) condolences to you.! You’d be surprised just how many times your dads name comes up in conversation. Mr.Burnet sir…. CAVU.
Such a full life and great memories! Fly high Gramps, we will miss you!
Dad, you left me with so many great memories! I was so blessed; I will miss you so dearly!! Your daughter Barbara.
Dad, I’ll miss you dearly, you’ll always be in my memories. I love you. Your son , Eddie jr
Dad, your place in my heart will never be replaced or taken by anyone else. You will always be the best thing that ever happened to me. I miss you, dad. Take Rex for a walk, and give MOM a special Hug.
Your #2 Daughter.
My sincerest sympathies to Ed’s family.
Daddy, I miss you so much!!!