Gordon H. Burkland, age 97, lifelong resident of Buffalo, died Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, on his 97th birthday.
He was born in Buffalo Jan. 17, 1913, to John and Freda (Risberg) Burkland, the youngest of six children.
Gordon was a graduate of Buffalo High School and the University of Minnesota.
He married Linda Cook in St. Paul in May 1940.
Gordon was a veteran of WW II, having served as a lieutenant in the US Navy in the Pacific. He was aboard the USS Reno when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine Nov. 3, 1944.
After the war, Gordon joined his father as co-owner of Burkland & Peterson store in Buffalo. He owned the store, renamed Burklands, until 1974. He also owned Burklands’ Style Shop in Slayton.
Gordon believed in contributing to his community, and served as a Wright County commissioner and a member of the Buffalo School Board for many years. He was an active member of Buffalo Presbyterian Church, Rotary, served on the city council, and represented Wright County on the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center board of directors.
He was also involved with the Minnesota Retailers Federation for many years, and served as chair of the Minnesota Small Business Advisory Council.
Gordon was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and was a recipient of many awards, including the 2007 Kurt Weiche Memorial Outstanding Citizen Award.
An avid golfer, Gordon was a member of the Buffalo Heights for most of his life. He loved to travel, and was a fan of Buffalo High School basketball, Gophers football, and the Vikings.
Gordon took great pleasure in his many friends, his children, and his grandchildren. He enjoyed life and, in his own words, “died with a full heart.”
Gordon was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Linda Cook Burkland; and his five siblings.
He is survived by his three children, Jean (Jerry) Udesen of New Brighton, Jill (Randy Freisinger) Burkland of Houghton, MI, and Bruce (Cathie) Burkland of Jackson, WY; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
The funeral service took place Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. at Buffalo Presbyterian Church, with gathering one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment preceded the service at Lakeview Cemetery in Buffalo.
The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo served the family.
Memorials are preferred to Buffalo Presbyterian Church,, the City of Buffalo Downtown Flower Fund, or the American Cancer Society.