William Joseph Burden

09/10/1938 — 11/30/2023

From Richland, WA | Born in Eugene, OR

William Joseph Burden

William “Bill” Joseph Burden passed away on November 30, 2023. He was born to Virginia Nadine Treat Burden and Joseph Harold Burden on September 10, 1938, in Eugene, Oregon.

Bill started school in LaPine, Oregon. The family later moved to Richland, when his Dad took a job as a Patrolman out at Hanford. Bill went to Richland schools, graduating from Richland High School in 1956. Later, he went to CBC and then married his first wife Sharron Lee Wilson Burden September 2nd,1961. They had two daughters together. They were married for 23 years.

He started working as an operator out at Hanford until the draft and that’s when the Army took him to Fort Ord, California October 3rd, 1961, and later White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This is where his first daughter Barbara JoAnn Burden Lawrence was born in 1963.

When Bill’s mission in the Army was completed, October 2nd, 1963, he went back to his job at Hanford. That is when his second daughter Deana Lyn Burden Skarda was born in 1964.

Over the years, Bill worked as an Operator and Cement Finisher at Hanford and later became an Asbestos Worker and also became the Business Agent and Labor Union Representative for Local 120, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers. He worked at Hanford for 35 years and retired October 1st, 1996.

While working his younger days at Hanford, he built a cabin near the Little Deschutes between LaPine, Oregon and Sunriver, Oregon. His parents had moved back to the LaPine area, so he and his Dad dug the well, as he was building the cabin. He worked on the cabin, during a strike at Hanford, and many other long weekends and vacation times to finish the task. Bill was a jack of all trades and could fix anything. He spent over 60 years enjoying long weekends, snowmobiling, riding motorcycles, cutting down trees for firewood, and holidays, at his cabin enjoying the mountain life of Mt. Bachelor, and going to all the beautiful lakes and any other adventures he could find in the area.

Bill married his second wife, Sandra Kay Miller Derby Burden, January 1st, 1985, she also worked out at Hanford as an Executive Secretary. He helped in raising Sandra’s two kids, Julie Estelle Derby age 13, and Bert David Derby age 11 at the time. When Sandra retired in 2003, they took many long trips on their Harleys going to Harley events; specifically, the 90th, 95th and 100th Harley Anniversaries back in Wisconsin. Plus, a wonderful trip to Sturgis seeing all the sites with Harley friends. They enjoyed many motorcycle trips to Pella, Iowa as well, where Bill’s daughter Deana and family lives, and Sandra’s Sister Sharon and family live. They rode all over the United States, and Bill loved riding the mountain tops of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, riding the Dragon’s Tail, 318 curves in 11 miles. Smugglers Notch where you could touch the sides of the mountain going down to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream factory. A sweet ride to Hershey, Pennsylvania, Road Candy Tour 2006, where we mailed special chocolate back to family. From all four corners of the U.S. and all the States in between. So many wonderful adventures from Portland, Oregon, to Portland Maine, from Washington State to Port Washington, Wisconsin. They rode through all the States with so many adventures and such awesome memories. Julie and Bert took trips to the cabin also riding on snowmobiles. Many trips, and other vacation trips to the ocean. They fondly remember night rides on snowmobiles and being outdoors together as well as trips to the Lava Caves, Crater Lake, and various other vacation trips they did together as a family. Bill went to all of the baseball games and baton twirling parades of Julie, and other activities, and Bert’s football, baseball, and basketball games that he played also. Julie still fondly remembers Bill teaching her “Lefty Loosey – Righty Tighty. A fun one to remember! They loved traveling to visit Bill’s daughter Deana (Chuck) and Sandra’s sister Sharon (Ron) and her family that all lived in Pella, Iowa. There were many trips to the ocean and so many fond memories over the years, with those near and far.

Bill did mechanical work. On his cars, van, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. His grandson Joe enjoyed working on Bill’s old GMC at the cabin, and many other vehicles together at home that Joe would work on at the house, and Bill would come out to supervise and give advice on, Joe also helped his Grandpa insulate the garage that was built at the cabin, and helped cut trees, and has helped so much with home projects for Bill and Sandra over the years. There were lots of fun trips to Sunriver, and LaPine to visit Bill’s Mom and Dad Burden. When his Dad passed away, Bill and Sandy spent extra vacations and trips helping his Mom, getting her wood stacked on her porch for winter, painting fences, repairing her roof, and keeping her comfortable with visits, and love. There were a lot of tree cuttings that happened at the cabin that Bert was involved with also, that he enjoyed doing with Bill. The whole entire family would join in from time to time, helping keep the 5 acres clean at different times, when they could visit, and Bill’s wife Sandy did lots of years’ worth of buckbrush cutting and pulling limbs to the fires from the dead trees. The day and night fires burning slash, was a special time to relax and reflect on all the work accomplished from the hard forest cuttings of the day. There was always plenty to keep the family busy and entertained with lots of firewood stacked throughout the acreage and brought to the cabin porch for the wood burning stove, and there was always plenty left to bring home for the fireplace in Richland, to burn throughout the seasons.

Bill’s loving dogs, that enjoyed going to the cabin were Brandy, Tosha, Sister, Lil’ Red, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Big Red, his sweet Ginger, and those still with us are Jasmine and the newest edition Thunder. His children Barb and Deana remember years of fun times at the cabin, playing cards with the grandparents. Barb especially remembers helping her Dad getting tools he asked for while building the cabin. He kept her plenty busy helping him. Bill fixed up minibikes for them to ride around the cabin, and he took them on many rides on his snowmobile. They have many fond memories of all their excursions and loving memories at the cabin. They went on many clam digging trips at the coast with their Aunt Connie, Uncle, Doug and Cousin JoAnn. Bill also fondly remembers a vacation trip that he and his wife Sandra took with the two Granddaughters, Cassie, and Mandy together. It was filled with lots of fun and laughter, and exciting adventures. Bill also enjoyed visiting Grandson’s Andy and Jake on their vacations trips to Iowa, to hear about how their lives were going and spending quality time enjoying their stories. Bill also enjoyed celebrating Birthday parties, with Grandson Connor, and Connor spending time with his Grandpa at the house visiting. Granddaughter Mandy has traveled with her son Carter, for many visits coming from Oregon, for Carter to see and enjoy his Great Grandpa and Grandma. As have Daughter Deana, Granddaughter Cassie and Great Grandson’s Oliver and Elijah, for a trip to the Ocean with Daughter Barb, and Grandson Joe, having fun with all of the family attending. Stepdaughter Julie, coming for many visits, from Oregon and Stepson Bert living close by, as do Daughter Barb and Grandson Joe. Bill has been blessed with everyone keeping in touch and caring about him throughout the years.

Bill has many special lifelong friends and family in his life. Dennis and Nancy Carter, George and Cheryl Engle, Henry and Vicki Hucke, Stan and Betty Jones, Sharon and Ron Byers, Doug and Connie Campbell, Cecil and Julie VanDyke, Bruce and Agnes DeLoff, plus many loving Harley friends over the years, and many very close cabin neighbors, and sweet home neighbors that he so enjoyed keeping caught up with their lives, on so many visits over the years. Bill had a tradition of having many friends come over on New Year’s Day, which was their Anniversary, and he would serve up a big pot of Black Eyed Peas and cornbread for all to enjoy. Bill cooked the beans, and Sandy made the cornbread. Bill loved doing this every year, for friends and family.

Bill is survived by his wife of 38 years Sandra; daughters, Deana Skarda and Husband Charles, and Barbara Lawrence; step-children Julie Derby and Bert Derby, and grandchildren Joseph Lawrence, and (girlfriend) Alicia Diaz, Andrew Skarda, Jacob Skarda, Cassandra Van Wyk and Husband Benjamin, Amanda Derby, Connor Derby, and great grandchildren, Oliver Van Wyk, Elijah Van Wyk, and Carter Abbett. Sister-in-law Sharon Byers and Husband Ronald. Nieces and Nephews JoAnn Campbell and Husband Robert, Jeffrey Byers and Wife Jennifer and Aleta Rauch and Husband Jeffrey. He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Virginia Burden, Rodney and Elaine Burden, Miriam Estelle and Alfred Earl Miller, John and Vie Wilson, Lucy Exner, Sharron Burden, Connie Campbell, Scott Lawrence, Marjorie and Husband Gary Elgin, Shirley Wardell, Mark Kenney, and Martin Kenney.

At Bill’s request, there will not be any scheduled services. Bill, you will be missed dearly forever. There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are riding those clouds in the sky, we know your adventures continue, and there is nothing holding you back. You will always be in our hearts.

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William Joseph Burden

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  • Some how my previous message was listed as anonymous

    Karl & Lyn Soehnlein
    December 9, 2023
  • So many cool memories of knowing Bill, being his neighbor on potter St in Richland, the motorcycle rides, the snowmobile rides, the house projects. There are far too many to mention. To say the he had an impact on my life is an understatement. May we all live life to the fullest as bill did. He will be missed, but never forgotten.

    December 9, 2023
  • Sandy, so sorry for your loss of this wonderful man! Having a terrific marriage is a wonderful thing. May God bless you with his comfort and love. My love to you and your family.

    Gail Dawson Howe
    December 7, 2023
    Gainesville, Texas
  • Many fond stories and memories working with Bill on the Hanford site. His sense of humor and how he handled being a steward taught me a lot. RIP Bill.

    Jim Millbauer
    December 7, 2023
    Kennewick, WA
  • We have many happy memories with Bill and Sandy on motorcycle rides!

    Cal& Judy Kees
    December 6, 2023
  • What a wonderful life you lived, Bill…so happy, Sandy, you and Bill had so many wonderful years together. You are in my prayers…may all your beautiful memories bring you peace and comfort.

    Becky Rulon
    December 6, 2023
  • Beautiful write up…prayers are with you Sandy and your family.

    Candi Lloyd Bonanno
    December 6, 2023
    Surprise AZ
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