Gerald Burkhardt

Obituary of Gerald W. Burkhardt

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Born on June 24, 1931, in Palmyra, Missouri, Gerald was the cherished son of William Frederick
Daniel Burkhardt and Henrietta Schade Burkhardt. As the youngest and only son among four
siblings, Gerald grew up in a family where hard work and dedication were values instilled from
an early age.
His father's occupation as a blacksmith led the family to Los Angeles, California, when Gerald
was 12 years old. This move, driven by the urgency of supporting the United States; efforts
during World War II, marked a pivotal moment in Gerald's upbringing.
Completing his education in Los Angeles, Gerald embarked on a new journey when he joined
the United States Air Force as a navigator. Stationed at Travis Air Base in Fairfield, California, he
encountered a serendipitous moment that would shape his future forever—meeting Susan
Chaudet Trumbly at Lodi Lake during a weekend visit. Their connection blossomed, culminating
in marriage on his birthday, June 24, 1956, in Santa Cruz, California.
After his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Gerald pursued higher education at the
University of Southern California, graduating with a degree in civil engineering. This laid the
foundation for his career, at the Sacramento headquarters of the California Department of
Transportation (Caltrans), where he dedicated himself to designing highways and roads, while
settling in Lodi, CA, contributing significantly to the infrastructure of his community and state.
Gerald and Susan's family grew with the arrival of their two sons, Daniel in 1960 and
Robert in 1963.
His peaceful passing on April 6, 2024, marked the end of a life well-lived—a life characterized by
integrity and hard work in supporting his family.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 67 years, Susan, his sons Daniel and Robert, his daughter-
in-law Suzi, his granddaughters Alexandra and Katherine, and his sister Helen Dobbs. In
honoring Gerald's memory, his family kindly requests contributions to a charity of personal

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Gerald Burkhardt

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Gerald Burkhardt

1931 - 2024

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