Walter Burkholder, age 96, of Fitchburg, died on 19 November 2021. He was born on 14 June 1925 in Platteville Wisconsin, the son of Gus and Agnes Burkholder. After graduating from high school, he entered the U.S. Army and served in Europe during WWII with the 94th Infantry Division, attaining the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Four Battle Stars (Northern France; Ardennes; Rhineland; Central Europe) and the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster for 2nd award.
On 17 July 1947 he married Dorothy Jean Milke. They had 41 years together and were blessed with three children. Dorothy preceded Walter in death in February 1989.
Walter earned degrees from UW-Platteville and UW-Madison. He dedicated his career in education; first teaching in Waukon, Iowa and Boscobel, Wisconsin. He held numerous senior educational roles across Wisconsin in positions as Principal in Bloomington and Lancaster, and District Administrator in Blue River and Lomira. He later held several positions with the Department of Public Instruction, retiring in 1987.
On 15 June 2000, Walter married Mary Jane (Janie) Zander. They have enjoyed their combined families; travels to Europe and many adventures across the United States. Together they enjoyed playing euchre, gambling, and attending concerts. Walter was a self-taught harmonica, organ and guitar enthusiast. He was a member of the Madison Elks and Middleton VFW-Post 8216.
Walter is survived by his wife, Mary Jane; sons, William (Karen) Burkholder, David Burkholder; daughter, Sheryl (James) Jordan; grandchildren, Michael (Rachel) Burkholder, Steven (Julie) Burkholder, Kristyn (Ryan) Hodel, Kraig (Crystal) Jordan, and Angela Burkholder; great-grandchildren, Parker, Warren, Evelyn, Braedan, Westin, Kellan, Devon, and Hallie; brother James (Joyce) Burkholder; step-children, Dr Cynthia (Dr. Thomas) Scherer, Cheryl (Steve) Hopkins, Douglas Zander, Christine Zander, Catherine (James) Grender, and Carrie (Jeffrey) Reese; step-grandchildren’ Randall, Morgan, Evan, Rudi, Kelsey, Cienna, Grace, Ian, Mason, Maddison, Lauren, and Sophie. Walter is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, first wife Dorothy, brothers Leonard and Marcus, and sisters Lois Pelikan and Crescent Vale.
As per Walter’s wishes, there will be private visitation and services held.