OSKALOOSA – Dependable, passionate, hard-working and a loving father and husband, were the words coworkers and loved ones used to describe Donald “Don” Burdick, a manager at the Oskaloosa Hy-Vee who was tragically killed in an accident Feb. 19.
Burdick leaves behind his wife Carrie Burdick, a school teacher in North English where the family lives, and two children, a daughter named Keegan (13) and a son named Davis (9). Burdick’s family meant the world to him and all who knew him can attest to this. Carrie Burdick describes her husband as the ultimate family man.
“He was a great guy and a good father,” she said. “Our children are struggling. They were really close to their father. Their father played a huge part in our lives. He was there, he was present. He taught them to ride bikes, played video games with them and watched a lot of movies.”
Carrie Burdick said the night before her husband passed, he and their two children watched The Muppets Movie together. When Don Burdick wasn’t spending time with this family he was punching the clock at Hy-Vee to make sure that he didn’t just do his work, but that it was done right.
From managing the Human Resources department to accounting to his most recent promotion as manager of the seafood and meat department, Don Burdick has worked in multiple capacities at the Oskaloosa Hy-Vee over the past 10 years. Those that worked closely with him, like Floral Department Manager Kerri Moore, said he was extremely knowledgeable and spoke of his family any chance he could, as these were two things that were most important to him.
Moore recalled a time last year when the Burdick Family purchased their new home. She said Don Burdick was so excited to decorate and set up his children’s rooms.
“I remember he was so excited to go buy containers and things to personalize the kid’s closets,” she recalled. “I think even went all the way to The Container Store in Des Moines just to be sure he picked out the right stuff. He did lots of improvements on the new house all by himself, he was quite a carpenter kind of guy.”
While at work, his dedication and effort towards performing at his maximum potential were the same. Moore described Don Burdick as the kind of manager that was always willing to lend a helping hand. No matter what department it was, if there was something he knew that would help or if he could help in any way, he would.
“He was really dedicated to his job,” Moore said. “He helped me out so much in the floral department. At one point he had to take over at another store on Valentine’s Day when someone there got sick or injured. He was just so helpful. He would share any little thing he would learn that he knew would be helpful in my end of the job. If anybody went up to his office he would do whatever he could for them. I worked with him the whole time that he was here. In the mornings I would sit and talk to him and when I punched out he was still there.”
Moore has a daughter that lives in Japan and she used to work at Hy-Vee also. Moore said when her daughter came home to visit in December, Don Burdick was one of the few people she felt like she had to visit. The two bonded through conversations about anime, a passion of his that he also shared with his daughter.
Hy-Vee General Merchandise Manager Tami Van Wyk only worked with Don Burdick for a little over a year in a half, but said she grew very close with him in that short amount of time.
“He was a character,” she said. “He had a lot of compassion and he would spend hours and hours just trying to get everything he needed done. We can’t replace him! It’s hard working on Saturdays now. We had a round table that all the managers would sit at and nobody could eat there for a few days, because Don wasn’t there. His loss has impacted our store greatly.”
Oskaloosa Hy-Vee Store Manager Gerad Curry and his wife, Jodi Curry, have set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of the Burdick Family to assist with funeral expenses, miscellaneous needs of the family (toiletries, clothing, etc.) and all remaining funds will go into a college fund for their children.
The goal is to raise $15,000 and right now over $5,300 has been donated. For anyone that wishing to make a donation to the Burdick Family, the GoFundMe page can be found using the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/4ffvv8?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR0UJEfrYE-SCZPNsePgO5GT3GRz9Iahc7YmpMVXxfUNZygk7NuM21p2QWA
Tiffany McDaniel can be reached by phone at (641)660-9659 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.