John Burkhardt

May 5, 1948 ~ December 13, 2021 (age 73)


John Burkhardt, residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, died on December 13, 2021 at the age of 73, after almost 27 years of being diagnosed and recovering from several cancers caused by a genetic mutation (Lynch Syndrome.) Born in Chicago, Illinois, John graduated from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and came to Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati as a VISTA volunteer. He grew to love Cincinnati and spent his working years as a house painter and occasional carpenter. He was known for his excellent prep work and said he loved painting because he could get paid for being lost in mediative thought for hours. For many years, John grew hostas and tended his small backyard ponds. He rescued many dogs and quite a few cats. He loved to tell stories. Even the simplest re-told event was hilarious. He loved to read about philosophy, black holes, and detectives. Movies became a great comfort as he became more debilitated (he preferred the Marvel Universe over that other one.) His favorite music was Mississippi Delta blues. He first saw his wife of 42 years, Constance Lee Menefee, when she was dancing to Big Band music in a long, flowered dress on Fountain Square. He actually met her at the now longclosed King’s Row bluegrass bar in Clifton when the friends he was with pointed her out. Their son Jonathan (Jessica) tolerated his parents’ shenanigans with adopting dogs, cats, random rocks, bones and pieces of wood from the forest with admirable grace. John was preceded in death by his parents and his good friend Michael Orchin (fellow painter, rock finder, and storyteller.) He is survived by his sister Karen (Jack). John was interviewed about his first cancer (glioblastoma multiforme) after surviving for 13 years. “I’ve never sat back and wondered why I got the tumor. I’ve always accepted it and I’ve never allowed myself to be depressed about. I just go on living the way I want to live.” He felt this way even after being diagnosed and treated for synchronous colon and upper tract urothelial carcinoma, and then ureteral cancer in his remaining kidney. It was long, hard path, but he always said, “I want to go out smiling when I die.” He was smiling and in peace at the end. There will be no funeral services. If you are moved to make a donation in memory of John Burkhardt, please give to the regional raptor group that does rehabilitation as well as supports research and education about hawks, falcons, eagles, owls, and vultures: RAPTOR, Inc., 961 Barg Salt Run Rd., Milford, Ohio 45150

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