On Tuesday April 21, 2020, Douglas R. Burklow of Westfield, Indiana, passed from this life after a long, courageous battle with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, at the age of 65. Doug is survived by his wife Kristy; children Nikki, Ryan (wife Amy), Zachary Darnell (wife Erin); and his former wife, Angela; his grandchildren- Nate (wife Gabby), Jacob, Gabrielle, Layla, Jeremiah James (JJ) and Harrison; brother John, sisters Carol, Kathy, Janice (and preceded in death by Denni); and many loving nephews, nieces, cousins, and brothers- and sisters-in-law.
Doug was the fifth of six children born to Dorothy and Doug Burklow, and grew up in Tinley Park, IL. He attended St. George’s Elementary School, Tinley Park High School, and had a stint at Eastern Illinois University. His career was in communications, from climbing telephone poles in Taylorville, IL, to managing projects for KLF (also known as Expanents and G3 Technology Partners) and then to ESCO Communications–you can thank him for the sound in Lucas Oil Stadium. Doug retired from ESCO after his diagnosis.
Doug was loving, patient, warm, and kind. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and he put everyone at ease. For those who had the good fortune of knowing him, you know this isn’t hyperbole. For those who didn’t, you missed spending time with a great man. He had three priorities in life–family, music, and laughter. His family meant the world to him. He built his life around them. The feeling was mutual. He was a much beloved dad and grandfather (AKA “Papa”). He was devoted to his wife, Kristy, and she to him. She was by his side until the very end.
Doug also was a wonderful brother. What other 17-year-old reminds his 12-year-old kid brother to fasten his seatbelt before they both take off in the family car on a flat straightaway south of town, reaching speeds of over 100 mph? This was the surprising thing about Doug–on the surface, he was fairly quiet and unassuming; beneath this façade was a man of adventure!
Doug was a natural musician—he could draw really well, too! He taught himself guitar and piano (and mandolin and drums and…). Although he played since he was a teenager, he got serious with the piano when he turned 50 (after getting an electric one as a gift from Kristy). Doug got good enough to join a band called Magnolia and then join another one with his son, Ryan–the Band of Beards–as well as another band, Saints and Strangers. He played on weekends all around Indianapolis. He loved many bands, but the Beatles were at the top of his list. Music ran through his veins and he was always open to listening to new artists. Music kept him young.
Last, but not least, Doug was funny–and had a great, infectious laugh. He wasn’t a “So, a duck walks into a bar” kind of joke teller. Rather, he saw irony in everyday life and focused on the lighter side. He managed to keep his sense of humor throughout the eight challenging years of fighting for his life. His understated wit made him that much funnier. We will miss his smiling, blue eyes and quiet wisecracks.
Doug’s was a life well lived. He was a success in every sense of the word. Most of all, he was a wonderful human being who enriched all of our lives. We were so lucky to have time with him. But there’s no way to get around the profound sadness of our loss. There should be more Doug Burklows in the world, not fewer.
Since we are still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no plans at this time for an in-person memorial service. We will, however, have a party (Doug’s wishes) once it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, please give to your favorite charity in Doug’s name. Also, if you would like to leave a memory of Doug, please go to [insert the URL from the funeral home here] and follow the directions. Thank you.
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