Obituary for Douglas Burklow

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Douglas Burklow

August 21, 1954 - April 21, 2020


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.
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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.

Glenn Key posted on April 28, 2020

With sympathy to all who knew Doug, it is a privilege to pass along some simple and sincere moments. I first met Doug at his brother John's dorm room 43 years ago. The consistent thing in my experience was his smile. From then until the last time I shook his hand, Doug's smile was radiant just like the photo above. Even in the later years when his health was compromised, every time his name was mentioned the image of his bright eyes and wit came to me. He was fortunate to have wonderful parents, siblings and family surrounding him. God bless him


Betsy Forgash posted on April 28, 2020

In memory of , Betsy Forgash lit a candle


Betsy Forgash posted on April 28, 2020

Doug was a wonderful person who was well loved as he loved others. I think of the Yiddish word mensch to describe Doug-someone who has honesty and integrity. I have fond memories of going to hear Doug’s band on weekends at various clubs. All of his friends danced to his music. I also watched Doug play with his grandchildren recently on a video. He was warm, playful and funny. Kristy was amazing wife to Doug and she is an amazing friend.


Janice DiSanti posted on April 27, 2020

Our brother Doug was such a special man. It's been a week and it seems he was just laughing at some silly wisecrack. There wasn't a negative spirit in Doug. He always tried to see the best in people. His talents were many and his love for family, friends and music was limitless. We will always treasure our sibling visits and Doug and Kristy's visit this past Sep. We had so many laughs and thought he was going to have another rebound but it was too short. We love and miss you so much, Doug, and hope you're jamming with the best of them!


Pamela & Tony Melton posted on April 27, 2020

It was very sad to hear of Doug's passing. He fought a good long fight. He was fun to be around, pleasant and very funny. He was also a loyal client. He will be missed.


Tom Donegan posted on April 26, 2020

Such a great loss, I am deeply saddened by the passing of my cousin, Doug. He was a kind, witty, decent man. A pleasure to be around. Always quick with a story or comment about you, your family or the goings on of the Burklow clan. I always looked forward to our visits to the house on Ravinia, as Doug was closest to me in age, and we could spend most of our Sunday hanging out, or acting like fools while Uncle Bill ground that 8mm cartridge camera recording our yelling, screaming and running around. My Dad and Uncle Doug would look on in amusement shaking their heads. Even when, in later years, he was fighting with health issues, he still had time for a card or a call just to reconnect and recall those easier days. My deepest sympathies to Kristy, Ryan and Nikki, and all of the family who knew and loved this good man.


Tom Donegan posted on April 26, 2020

Such a great loss, I am deeply saddened by the passing of my cousin, Doug. He was a kind, witty, decent man. A pleasure to be around. Always quick with a story or comment about you, your family or the goings on of the Burklow clan. I always looked forward to our visits to the house on Ravinia, as Doug was closest to me in age, and we could spend most of our Sunday hanging out, or acting like fools while Uncle Bill ground that 8mm cartridge camera recording our yelling, screaming and running around. My Dad and Uncle Doug would look on in amusement shaking their heads. Even when, in later years, he was fighting with health issues, he still had time for a card or a call just to reconnect and recall those easier days. My deepest sympathies to Kristy, Ryan and Nikki, and all of the family who knew and loved this good man.


Dan Cantor posted on April 26, 2020

Katy and I send our heartfelt condolences to the Burklow and Darnell families. Doug Burklow was an extraordinary person. Throughout his eight-year illness, Doug continued to show us all how to live life properly – always caring more about the well-being of others than himself, and having a consistently positive attitude, even during his weeks of horrific treatments. Doug never expected friends to ask how he was doing, but when anyone did so after a difficult period, his answer was something like ‘yeah, that wasn’t much fun.’ Doug was a dear friend and charming guy. Socially, he was one of those utility players who could get along with anyone, regardless of demeanor, profession or political persuasion. He had only one non-negotiable happy hour prerequisite: a dirty vodka martini, which he would diligently consume without regard to anyone’s notion of potential contraindications. Doug’s spirit will be with us in perpetuity. He will always be remembered – and when we are tempted to whine about life’s inconveniences, Doug’s memory will command us to alter our perspective.


Coral Danforth posted on April 25, 2020

I'm so sorry for your loss, Kristy. Doug was a special guy, and very easy to be around. I loved having you both as neighbors. My sincere condolences.


Andrea Snyder posted on April 25, 2020

My heart goes out to the Burklow and Darnell Family. Doug was special. He was a patient, kind man with a quiet sense of humor. Since his diagnosis, he seemed to be just living in the moment. He seemed at peace like a man accepting of his fate. His demeanor was always consistently pleasant. Through the pain, he never complained. I imagine, he held close to his heart, every day, every hour and every minute he had with all of you. Doug left this earth with the same grace and dignity that he led his life, surrounded by all of the people that he loved. I am so grateful to have known him. I pray that you will all be comforted in the days to come as his memory continues to live on. Andrea Snyder


Claudia labin posted on April 23, 2020

In memory of , Claudia labin lit a candle


Claudia labin posted on April 23, 2020

My very dear Kristi, I can’t tell you how terribly sad and distraught I am upon hearing that Doug passed away. I knew it would have happened some day...but one is never completely prepared when it happens... and you have stood by his sides through thin and thick in the most difficult times ever....you are an super amazing human being and I am proud to count you among my best friends. Doug always struck me as a genuine Bodisatva, a Buddhist term to mean someone who has mastered suffering and incarnates pure love and grace. and that’s exactly how he spent the last years of his too short life. His smile And equanimity will stay forever in my heart and all the lives he touched. Only love and blessings in this deep time of sorrow for all of us. Much love and affection always. Claudia labin


Irwin labin posted on April 23, 2020

I had the absolute pleasure of knowing Doug for many years. He was a wonderful guy who will be sorely missed. Throughout my almost 40 years of being a physician I have never seen such Courageous stoicism in the face of life-threatening adversity.His many wonderful qualities will be an object lesson for me and I’m sure many others.


Irwin labin posted on April 23, 2020

I had the absolute pleasure of knowing Doug for many years. He was a wonderful guy who will be sorely missed. Throughout my almost 40 years of being a physician I have never seen such Courageous stoicism in the face of life-threatening adversity.His many wonderful qualities will be an object lesson for me and I’m sure many others.


Lisa Perez posted on April 23, 2020

Doug , you were a great brother-in-law to me. You were fun to be around and had a great laugh! You were also a grill master, especially your brats! I will always remember playing in Magnolia with you; you were so talented and versatile. When I would come to visit, you were usually in your music room playing your keyboard and singing. Above all, you were truly a great husband and companion to my sister Kristy to which I am eternally grateful. I will miss you so much.


Cassandra Perez posted on April 23, 2020

In memory of , Cassandra Perez lit a candle


Dana Garcia posted on April 23, 2020

Because of Doug’s niece, and my best friend, Sarah, I have had the privilege of meeting Doug. My deepest condolences to the entire family. I know this is a profound loss for you all, and my prayers are for each and every one of you.


Betsy Gutierrez posted on April 23, 2020

My most sincere condolences to Doug’s family. I had the good fortune to make Doug’s acquaintance through Kristy’s niece Sarah Ayers. I was lucky enough to see him play music a few times and also always appreciated his wit. My heart goes out to all who held him so dear. May God bless you in this challenging time.


Jenni Meritt posted on April 23, 2020

What can I say about my Uncle Doug that wasn't already said? He was a great uncle and loved all of us. I have so many great memories. I also have stories that my mom would tell me about him. I'm sure that she was there to greet him with open arms when he crossed. She sure was proud of her brother. Uncle Doug was one of a kind and truly could make anyone smile. I love you Uncle Doug!


jack bryan posted on April 23, 2020

The beardus as he became known to all of his friends in Taylorville touched all of our lives. From the group gathering at the old as patient to the rock c oncerts we attended. My life is far better having had the pleasure to have met and listened to his music and partied with Doug. The memories are many and still are fresh in my mind. Heaven has recieved a great man and I am sure that his music wit and humor will be welcomed. . The bigun


Kathy Tonelli posted on April 23, 2020

Our brother, Doug, was truly one-of-a-kind. He was a man who was constantly learning, whether it was an instrument, building things, or gardening. He just kept surprising all of us at what he could accomplish. I'll miss him and his great wit. I'm sure we'll have many good stories about Doug at our next sibling vacation, along with a lot of laughter and tears.


Kathy posted on April 23, 2020

Truly be missed by all, you were one hell of an uncle, I had pleasure listening to you play music. Love you Uncle Doug


Lindsey Gobel posted on April 23, 2020

Doug loved generously and was well-loved in return. We are so heartbroken to lose him, but so grateful to have shared some of our favorite memories with him. Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends feeling this enormous loss. Love, Kyle and Lindsey Gobel


Carol Carney posted on April 23, 2020

My brother Doug was a kind, gentle soul who was so easy to be with that you were able to relax and enjoy the time together. He had artistic talents that he developed and shared. His photographic skills were amazing as well as his musical ones. Our siblings vacations won’t be the same without him but we will bring him and our sister Denni along with us in our hearts.


Maggi Doherty posted on April 23, 2020

My dear Kristy, I am so sorry for you and your family, but I am very happy I was able to spend time with you and Doug, even recently. He was brave and sweet, and I wish he could have lived a lot longer, but I am sure he is in heaven. Love you! Maggi Doherty


Kelley Vale Gugliuzzi posted on April 23, 2020

God bless and RIP angel,prayers of peace to my sister Kristy and all of our family.We were all enriched by knowing you and sharing your joy for your family and life. You will be missed but never forgotten, I am thankful you came into and touched our lives.Until and when we meet again Doug,God speed ❤ Kelly and Rich


 


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