Edward Donald Burkett
August 4, 1928 – October 12, 2021
Edward “Ed” Burkett, 93, passed away on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, in Tampa, Florida, after a short battle with cancer. Ed is preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Mildred Burkett. He is survived by his son, Donald Burkett and wife Sylvia; his daughter, Peggy Burkett Ohman and husband Philip; grandchildren, Chandra, Ian, Sharbette, Jaclyn and Alexander; 5 great grandchildren, and many extended family members.
Ed also leaves behind a shining example of what unparalleled work ethic and dedication can achieve in this life. Born in Cincinnati, Ed was raised on his grandfather’s farm in southeast Ohio. After graduating from Fairfield High School in 1946, he turned down a sports scholarship to instead take a position with the Singer Sewing Machine Company. His neighbor, Al Kisinger, first introduced him to the surveying and engineering profession; and when Al relocated to Tampa in 1949, Ed and his family followed a few years later in 1954. Per Al’s advice, Ed studied engineering at the University of Tampa and was later hired by Al’s company, A & R Kisinger. Ed always credited the skills he learned there as a draftsman and surveyor to be the foundation of his entire engineering career. He would later be hired by the State Road Department (the predecessor of today’s Florida Department of Transportation) and would work on the construction of many of Tampa’s major roads and bridges throughout the 1950s and 1960s. After the 1968 collapse of the Anclote River Bridge near Tarpon Springs, Ed was tasked with creating Florida’s Bridge Inspection Certification Program and had the unique honor of receiving Bridge Inspector Certificate #00001. He also taught the Certified Bridge Inspector training course at USF for 16 years. After retiring from FDOT in 1977, he joined his colleagues Jack Campo, Joe La Russa, and Al Kisinger, as a co-founder in the development of Kisinger Campo & Associates, where he continued to be a true pioneer in bridge inspection. Even after celebrating his 90th birthday, he worked in their Tampa office three days a week.
Because Ed never shied away from hard work, he had a lifetime of remarkable experiences. In the 1950s he took up scuba diving for work. He was also part of a supermodified stock car racing team at one point. While pursuing his engineering career, he and his wife also started Burkett’s Sewing Center – a business that would repair an average of 200 sewing machines a month. His friends and family will remember him as an invaluable and irreplaceable source of knowledge and advice. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations can be made to the Ed Burkett Scholarship Fund by sending a check to:
APWA West Coast Branch Attn: Wei Liu 2002 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 200 Tampa, FL 33607
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
A graveside service for Edward will be held Wednesday, October 20, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM at Sunset Memory Gardens, 11005 N US 301, Thonotosassa, FL 33592.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.gonzalezfuneral.com for the Burkett family.
12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Sunset Memory Gardens
Edward Donald Burkett
October 16, 2021
Ever since we moved into our home, twenty-five years ago, afternoons have been punctuated by the sound of Ed’s golf cart as it reversed from its’ parking spot. That was the queue ( perhaps excuse!) to take a break from the yard work and walk across the street to catch-up with him.
To say that Ed was extraordinary is an understatement. He was inspirational. I always enjoyed our conversations and never left him without feeling that I was a better person for the interaction.
I know that may impressions are shared my many. He was a friend to the whole neighborhood.
Rest In Peace, Ed. You are sorely missed.
Chris and Martha Cobb