In Memory

David Bird Burnham - Class Of 1943

David Bird Burnham

Hamilton, Montana, September 27, 2012, David Bird Burnham achieved peace from his cancer-infected body.  He spent his final days under the loving care of the nurses and care providers at Marcus Daly Hospice and family members.

David was born January 12, 1925, in Santa Barbara to John and Constance Fairchild Burnham.  The Burnhams were ranchers at their Rancho Matilija in the Ojai Valley of California.  David was a graduate of South Pasadena-San Marino High School.  He entered the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943, and after his release in 1944 he attended Pasadena City College and Colorado A&M in Fort Collins, Colorado.  When he returned to his home at South Pasadena, he worked for the International Bechtel Corporation.  Later he was associated with the Cla-Val Corporation of Alhambra as a purchasing agent.  He was storekeeper for the Grinnell Corporation of Providence, Rhode Island and a purchasing agent for the Hartley Pen Company of Pasadena.  He was associated with Grand Central Aircraft Company of Glendale in the internal auditing department in systems and procedures and forms control.  He moved with Grand Central to Tucson, Arizona and also to Fresno as internal auditor of that division.

David sold real estate in the Bitterroot Valley and was an owner of the Lodgepole Restaurant and Antique Shop in Corvallis, working with Robert Oakley and Ronald Ochs.  David found his life vocation as an antiques dealer for 60 years.  He was a member in good standing of the Antiques Appraisals Association for America Inc., National Association of Dealers in Antiques Inc. and Antique Appraisal Association of Montana; the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors; and regional vice president of the American Antiques Truck Historical Society, Inc.  In addition to the positions held with antiques organizations, David was past vice president and water operator of the Milltown Water Users Association and vice president of the Milltown Addition Home Owners Association.

David is survived by his son, Ronald Burnham; and brother, Fred (Laurie) Burnham (SPHS '49) of Hamilton.  Having lived as co-workers/owner/friend in Corvallis, Missoula, and Milltown, with moves to Poulsbo and Asotin, Washington and with travels to many antique shows, David adopted Ronald Ochs as his son in 1999.  David is also survived by nieces and nephews and many grandnieces and grandnephews.  David was preceded in death by the untimely departures of brothers John Burnham and William D. Burnham (SPHS '39).

David expressed a special love to each of his many special families and to each of his many wonderful loyal friends treasured through all the years.

Missoulian (Missoula, Montana), September 29, 2012