Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brandon Scott Burkhart passed away Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015, at the age of 44 in his home in Papillion, Nebraska, beside his lovely wife Kelly.
Brandon was born Dec. 8, 1970, in Canton, Ohio, where he was the loving oldest son to Gary Allen and Judith Ann Burkhart of West Columbia, Texas.
He is survived by his wife, Kelly, of Papillion, Nebraska. He leaves behind his brother, Adam Grant, and wife, Jennifer Whitney Burkhart, along with their daughter, his niece, Addyson Nicole of Lake Jackson, Texas; and his dog companion, Coco.
Brandon is the grandson of Joeann Burkhart of Morgantown and Mary Wilma Richards of Carrollton, Ohio. Brandon leaves many proud aunts, uncles and cousins in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, California, Florida and Texas; along with so many Air Force friends from all over the world.
As a youth, Brandon was Boy Scout and member of the Scouts’ Order of the Arrow. He graduated from West Columbia High School in 1989, where he played center with the varsity basketball team before attending South West Texas State University as an ROTC member.
Upon leaving college, he began and completed his childhood dream of serving in the U.S. Air Force. Following enlistment, he began a career as an air traffic controller, serving in several Air Force commands (ACC, AMC, AETC) and retired from air space command as a control functional manager traveling all over the world.
Brandon’s military career proved exemplary by graduating an honor grad at the top of every educational training program in his entire 20-year career. He was presented the Air Force’s highest academic award, the John Levitow Award, while being selected as NCO of the Year USAF 2008 in his command.
Brandon was hand-selected for several special operational assignments during his career and awarded more than 25 medals and commendations while serving and supporting in every conflict during his career.
Upon retiring from the Air Force in January 2012, Brandon joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was selected by Union Pacific Railroad headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, for employment. UP gave gracious support after he was diagnosed with melanoma Stage 4 cancer on his last day of training while achieving top scores.
Brandon chose to take treatment and returned to repeat again his training with top scores a second time even with his brain cancer.
Brandon was a beautiful boy and thoughtful man his entire life and was baptized in the spirit as a teenager.
Always loving and giving to others his entire life, Brandon served his family, his community and his country as a very honorable servant.
As an avid Dallas Cowboys football fan through his life, Brandon’s triumph came with the request by Tony Romo for a personal meeting in December 2013, never to be forgotten.
Brandon’s last request was that there be no services. Instead, the family has asked that anyone who was touched by this big, humble, gentle man to give to any and all donations to Aim at Melanoma and their hospice of choice to better help others in their time of need.
Brandon will be greatly missed for now, but he will never be forgotten by those he touched while with us.
We take rest knowing Brandon is in the arms of Our Lord and Savior forevermore. We the family, wish to thank the many hospitals, doctors, nurses, aids, friends, family and spiritual advisers for their continued support and prayers. We ask God to be with each and every one for his purpose.