Vern D. Burchard, 75, went to meet his Savior Monday evening at his residence surrounded by his loving family.
Memorial funeral Mass will be Saturday, May 2, 2009, at 10 a.m. at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, with burial following in the Highland Cemetery with military honors. Fellowship and reception will follow interment at the St. Jude Thaddeus Parish Center. Vern was born at Fort Belknap Agency to Charles and Anna Mae (DuBois) Burchard. He was raised in Havre and attended St. Jude's School and graduated from Havre High School. Vern was a member of the Havre Boxing Club and also boxed while serving in the U.S. Navy, during the Korean War. While in high school, when he was 17 years old, he started working for the Great Northern Railroad and continued after his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1956. Vern worked for the railroad and retired from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad with 44 years of service in December 1995. Vern married Sharon Kay Hoodenpyle in July 1958. He later married Carol “Jo” (Midboe) Simonson in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, on Nov. 16, 1982. The joy of his life was his family and grandchildren. Vern enjoyed watching boxing, the Weather Channel, gardening, camping, fishing and going to rummage sales. He is survived by his wife, Carol “Jo” Burchard of Havre; son, Anthony Burchard of Great Falls; daughters, Shelli (Robert) Spinler of Livingston, Pam (Gary) Bryson of Fort Peck; step-children, Scott Simonson of Seattle, Wash., Kathy Jo Simonson of Lynnwood, Wash., Vicki Simonson and Diane Nault both of Havre; brother, Gerald (Diane) Burchard of Spokane, Wash.; and sister, Peggy Cloke of Spokane, Wash., sisters, Alyce (Roy) Matson of Newport, Wash., Evelyn (Robert) Hoffman of Missoula, Doreen (Warren) Gault of Havre; 12 grandchildren, six greatgrandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and sister- in-law, June (James) Burchard of Port Orchard, Wash. Vern was preceded in death by his parents, stepson Ricky Simonson; brothers, Francis and James Burchard; sister Mary Kelley and one granddaughter. Memorials may be sent to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook