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1947 David 2024

David John Burnham

March 31, 1947 — May 19, 2024

David John Burnham, 77, passed away on May 19, 2024, at his home in Lewistown.  He was born March 31, 1947, to Irv and Jean Burnham in Lewistown, MT.   He is the 2nd of the 9 bears (his siblings). He mainly attended elementary school at Maiden where his family had a ranch and graduated high school from St. Leo’s in 1965. He excelled in football during his high school years as a St. Leo’s Trojan and his senior year earned the privilege to participate in the East-West Shrine football game.  He was a fast, tough, and mean lineman!

In 1967, he married his high school sweetheart, Janet Rae Comes. Together they had two children and raised them in Lewistown. He joined the Army Reserve and National Guard in 1967, serving for 5 years.

He enjoyed camping with family and their many friends over the years rode motorcycles, snowmobiled, hunted, and fished. He coached his son’s baseball team and junior high football team. Dave also enjoyed gardening, growing some of the most beautiful flowers, especially geraniums and vegetables.  He loved music of all types and dancing. He was a “people person” and made friends wherever he went.

He wore many hats throughout his life, including laying carpet for Wier’s for several years, road construction, selling insurance, auto mechanic, a landlord, and a business owner.   He was one of the best finish blade hands in the State of Montana! He owned and operated his mechanic business, Dave & Bill’s Repair, with a good friend, Bill Stuart, for many years. He also opened and ran Pets -n- more with his daughter until she moved to Laurel. Dave was truly a “Jack of all trades”! He was very creative and crafty. He restored classic vehicles, made beautiful quilts, did woodworking, and made walking sticks and birdhouses, just to name a few.

Dave was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Janet. He is survived by his children Kim Rapkoch (Mark) and Greg Burnham (Lisa), his 8 siblings Ken (Shirley), Irv (Linda), Paul (Paula), Pat (Penny), Ed (Lori), Earl, George (Jennifer) and Rose Dover (Lance); and his sister-in-law, Marilyn Barrick. He also has 7 grandchildren, Jeremy Rapkoch (Gabi), Kyle Rapkoch (Macie), Mariah Rapkoch (Kory), Brandon Rapkoch (Samantha), Brock Burnham (Kasey), Peyton Burnham, Mykayla Burnham (Robby) and 4 great-grandchildren, Brynlee, Greyson, Hudson and Ellie, as well as numerous nephews, nieces and cousins. He was very family-oriented and will be dearly missed by all.

Dave had a love for all animals, birds, and fish. From the cows that had to be milked growing up, the sheep, steers, hogs, and chickens he raised to the many dogs and cats he had over the years, aquariums, and numerous bird feeders, he enjoyed them all.

 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dave’s name to the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter in Billings. Please send it to YVAS at P.O. Box 20920, Billings, MT 59104.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David John Burnham, please visit our flower store.


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