Don Burck

On April 5, 2023, in Huntington, WV, Donald Clayton Burck, 76, went home to be with Jesus after a long battle with some tough diseases.

He lived in the valley for 54 years and was well known to many because he was a camp cook,  a caterer and a candyman at Burst’s Candies in Corvallis. He is most known in Philomath as “Cookie” because he was the camp cook at Philomath Outdoor School for many years.

Don was more than just a candyman. His mischievous grin and jokes were felt by everyone he served. Don’s parents, Willis and Dorothy, were dairy farmers in PeeDee, Oregon, where Don gained experience helping his Dad and uncle with local projects. Those skills carried with him later as he loved to tear apart Volvos and walk-in freezers and sell the parts.

He graduated from West Albany High School in 1964. Don majored in Business and Finance with a minor in Food Science at Oregon State University, graduating in l972.  

In 1962, Don met Rose Mary Everett Burck at church camp and the two were married in 1968.    They went to the Philippines with Wycliffe Bible Translators to run a children’s home in the Philippines from 1972-1974. In 1974, the family returned to the United States and in 1975,  purchased Burst’s Candies in downtown Corvallis, where Don and Rose Mary were the owners and chocolatiers for 30 years.

While there, Don used the candy store as a home base for employing and loving so many people who needed a friend, a father figure, a quick paycheck, or a smile. He was a member of Willamette Community Church for 25 years and then attended Northwest Hills Baptist Church in Corvallis and Family Bible Fellowship in Lebanon, where his skill in cooking and organizing were greatly appreciated.

Don Burck (Photo provided by family)

Don and Rose Mary were members of Retail Confectioners International, where Don won many blue ribbons for the fine texture of his chocolates and for inventing new pieces of candy. He was also known to many parents, students, and educators as the beloved “Cookie,”  the camp cook,  for many local outdoor schools. He loved to use barter exchange with candy, and he made friends across the nation trading candy for even his dentistry. He loved auctions and was a retailer of used kitchen equipment. After selling Burst’s Candies to Patrick Magee, Don leased and operated the Shedd Cafe for three years before retiring to West Virginia to be with his family.

Don leaves behind a wife of  54 years, Rose Mary; a brother and his wife, Ken and Rosanne Burck, and their family of Phoenix, AZ. He leaves a son and daughter-in-law, Bradley (PHS Class of 92) and Cari Burck, with their children, Scout and Oswin of Huntington, WV. He also leaves his daughter Jodi Burck Dodd (PHS Class of ’93) and her husband, Simon Dodd with their children, Elijah and Isaac, who reside in Albany, OR. Burck was preceded in death by a younger brother, Douglas Burck, whose wife is Joy Burck. 

All friends and family are welcome to attend Don’s Celebration of Life on Friday, July 7, at 11 AM at Willamette Community Church, 420 SE 3rd Ave, Albany, OR 97321. A light lunch will follow the service. In lieu of  flowers, monetary gifts may be donated to Forever Changed  International Orphanage of Camus, Washington, whose website address is