Brock Rodney Burklund, beloved father and grandfather, passed away on June 26, 2020 at his home in Bay City, Oregon. Born in Astoria, Oregon in 1948 to Connie and Norbert Burklund; he was the second of seven children. He grew up near Boring, Oregon and grew to love his large family and enjoy the wilderness that surrounded him daily. And even though school was never his favorite activity, in 1966 he graduated from Gresham Union High School.
Like many of his generation, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1968. After his training he was deployed and served in the Vietnam War as a mortarman and APC track driver as part of the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (“Triple Deuce”) of the 25th Infantry Division. During his service, he earned his Combat Infantry Badge and was awarded a Bronze Star; but if you asked about his service award he would only say that he didn’t care to speak about his experiences because he had lost so many friends during the conflict.
At the beginning of his Army service, while he was stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington, Brock married Karen Josefson whom he had met while in school. When he completed his military commitment and was honorably discharged in 1974, they settled in Damascus, Oregon to be near their families. They shared a common Swedish family heritage, a love for country music and enjoyed square dancing and bowling together with friends.
Brock and Karen had tried for many years to have biological children and were finally blessed with a son Brock ‘Rodney’ in 1977. Prior to their son's birth, the couple had opened their home to teenage boys by becoming foster parents. Brock was an imposing man at over 6’2” and with his beard and temperament he was often referred to lovingly as a gentle Grizzly Adams. He enjoyed engaging with the kids through camping and sports. He had a favorite holiday dish of pickled herring that he would encourage everyone to try and give a hearty laugh at their expressions.
Shortly after Rodney turned one, Arthur, a young boy of 12, joined their home. It wasn't long before Arthur became Rodney’s big brother and Brock’s oldest son. The family moved to Gresham, Oregon and continued fostering children. Upon learning that Arthur's younger sister, Tammy, was also in need of a permanent home; the family welcomed her and became one member larger. Later that year in 1980, the youngest daughter, Janelle Lisa, was born and the family was complete.
Brock was an avid hunter, outdoorsman and a hard worker. He loved taking the family camping and he would take turns introducing the kids to hunting. He especially loved sharing and exploring his favorite spots in Eastern Oregon with his children. He was very active in all of the kids’ lives and over the years coached a variety of sports teams after a long day of work. He had been a labor union worker and finished his career as a landscaper with the Portland School District.
He and Karen were married for 24 years before they divorced and he became the primary parent for Rodney and Janelle. Arthur and Tammy were grown and with families of their own. After his two youngest were graduated and out of the house, he retired in Bay City, Oregon to enjoy the quiet life he had dreamed of near the coast. During his retirement, he spent his days enjoying hunting, walking and humming away as he worked on plans to build a new home on his property.
Brock leaves behind two sons Arthur and Rod, two daughters Tammy and Janelle; and four grandchildren, Tim, Gina, Samara and Brock. He leaves us too soon at the age of 71. He was cherished and will be missed