Thomas Joseph Burckhardt Jr., 49, of Ridgefield, Wash., passed away at home surrounded by his family and pets.
He was born June 27, 1973, in Longview, to Thomas and Pamela (Beesley) Burckhardt. Thomas graduated from R.A. High School in 1991, the Lower Columbia College Nursing Program in 2011, and Aspen University with a bachelor of science in nursing in 2021.
Thomas served in the Naval Reserve from 2000 to 2004 earning the rank of Corpsman HM3 with the 4th Force Service Support Group, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. He was deployed to Kuwait in February of 2003 for the initial invasion of Iraq in March of 2003. He served as company corpsman for Bulk Fuel Charlie responsible for 170 marines spread out over 30 miles of Iraqi desert.
He was the recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Reserve Meritorious Service, National Defense, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Mobilization “M”, and Pistol Marksman.
Thomas worked as an EMT-IV with ALS Ambulance from 1995 to 1997, a phlebotomist from 1997 to 1999, an EMT for ALS Ambulance again from 1999 to 2001, a 911 dispatcher from 2001 to 2007, and a registered nurse from 2011 until his passing.
He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and enjoyed spending time with family, hiking, photography, trivia, camping and travel, including trips to London, Paris and Dublin. Thomas was outgoing, friendly and caring. He had a keen interest in the human condition, and enjoyed making people laugh, even at his own expense. He was a showman, and liked making others happy.
In May of 2012 he married Misty Joy Waisanen in Longview. She survives him at home. Also surviving are his mother, Pamela Beesley of Longview; two sisters, Tammy DeSpain of Kalama and Teresa Casey in Virginia; three children, Evan Burckhardt and Laurette Burckhardt, both of Longview, and Adam Burckhardt of Daytona Beach, Fla.; three stepchildren, Kamera Johnson of Kelso, and Makaila Tamani and Gordon Murray, both of Longview; and two grandchildren.
Thomas was preceded in death by his father, grandparents, and his best friend, David Anderson.
A service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Steele Chapel with Pastor Omar Scarborough officiating. Burial will follow at noon at Longview Memorial Park. A reception will be held in Steele’s hospitality room.