LARNED — Surrounded by his loving family, Donald Lowrey Burnett I, 83, went onto greener pastures, Dec. 18, 2017.
As a native son to one of Larned’s founding families, Don was born in the Dust Bowl days to Don E. Burnett and Helen Burnett. With his solid roots and keen mind, he was a life-long learner, quietly lending his expertise to numerous professional and civic projects. As a community leader, husband, father and grandfather, Don’s faith and value system permeated all aspects his life. He was a man of character, respected for his fine-mind, fairness and integrity. (* A partial list of educational, professional, civic and community leadership is listed below).
Don attended the University of Kansas and was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After earning his Bachelor Degree, followed by the Juris Doctor degree at KU Law, Don returned to Larned to practice law with Maurice Wildgen and Glee Smith at Wildgen & Smith.
Though partners in the law firm changed over his 59 years of practice (i.e Smith, Burnett & Larson; Smith, Burnett, Larson & Butler; Smith & Burnett, LLC), Don continued to serve his clients through the firm of Smith, Burnett and Hagerman, LLC until his retirement in December 2017.
A Partial list of Don L. Burnett’s Past Civic and Community Leadership Involvement: President: The Jordaan Foundation, Inc.
Of Council: The Fort Larned Historical Society; Trustee: Pawnee County Law Library; President: Pawnee County Bar Association; Member: American Bar Association ; Member: Kansas Bar Association; Member: Southwest Kansas Bar Association; Journal Council Sub-Committee on Mental Hospital Admission Laws; Board of Editors: Kansas Bar Journal; President: Larned Chamber of Commerce; President and Honorary Member: Larned Rotary Club; Chairman: Larned Rotary Student Loan Fund; Trustee and Elder and Sunday School Teacher: First Presbyterian Church of Larned; Board Member: St. Joseph Memorial Hospital; Board Member: Larned Community Hospital Committee; Member: Larned Masonic Lodge; Board Member: Larned Country Club; Volunteer: Larned Junior Golf.
It was noted that Don was a formidable competitor on the golf course. As a decades-long City Golf Champion, he hit a three-iron higher and farther than any home-spun tall tale. To this date, his children only beat him a total of four times on the golf course, an accomplishment he denied until his last breath. Known affectionately in his inner circle as Whiplash Willie, Don could be found circling the table, dishing out patriotic and political commentary, history, or KU Jayhawk basketball stats with his signature dry wit.
Don is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Deanne Burnett, Larned. Other survivors include, daughter, Georgia (Monte) Martin, Dallas, Texas; son: Lowrey (Nikki) Burnett, Denver, Colo.; son, Brooks (Teresa) Burnett, Manhattan; son, Jim Burnett, Gunnison, Colo.; four grandchildren, Luke, Holt and Elle Martin, Dallas, Texas; Kennedy Burnett, Manhattan.
Following his passing, Don was privately placed in the beloved Pawnee County soil with his immediate family surrounding him. An announcement for a Memorial Service celebrating his life will take place at a later date. With Don’s love of education and history, memorials in lieu of flowers may be given to The Jordaan Foundation, Inc. or to the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum. To send, mail c/0 Beckwith Mortuary. P.O. Box 477, Larned, KS 67550. Personal condolences may be left with www.beckwithmortuary.com
Funeral arrangements provided by
P.O. Box 477
Larned, Ks. 67550
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 20, 2017