Obituary: Donald Jerry Gerard Burtard
August 12, 1952 – August 26, 2020
Donald “Jerry” Gerard Burtard passed away on August 26, 2020, in Canon City, CO. Jerry was born on August 12, 1952, in Denver, CO to Joseph Ralph Burtard and Gertrude Claire Burtard. Jerry was the fourth born, with five brothers and four sisters. Surviving siblings: John Ralph Burtard (Wendy), Joseph Gene Burtard (Linda), Rebecca “Becky” Ann Burtard, JoAnn Burtard, Mary Sue Burtard (Rocky), and Jeffery King Burtard (Bambi).
As a young man, Jerry went to work in the coal mine industry to raise and support his younger siblings and later his own beautiful family. Jerry’s greatest friendships came from his lifelong mining career at Mid-Continent Coal Mine (Carbondale, CO) and Energy Fuels Coal Mine (Florence, CO). With pride, you will always hear his kids brag about being a coal miners’ child. In their youth, you would often find his kids content when sitting on his lap while he ran heavy equipment at gravel pits in the Roaring Fork Valley and Florence, CO.
Jerry met the love of his life when he deliberately pushed her car out of a car wash with the front bumper of his truck. Jerry and Jennifer LeeAnn Day married on May 12, 1973, in Carbondale, CO. During their 47 years of marriage, they created a lifetime of memories and genuine friendships. Most importantly, they proudly raised four children and six grandchildren with an inseparable bond. Their children include Wendy Lee Conley (Tim), Heidi Jo Bair (Chad), Joseph Rairden Burtard, and Jared Thomas Burtard. Grandchildren: Brianna Marie Conley, Maudie Abigail Conley, Taylor Allen Miller, Levi Jackson Miller, Parker Thomas Miller, and Millie Rose Miller.
In addition to being a coal miner, Jerry was an honest hardworking cowboy. He embraced his western heritage at a young age with rodeo, ranching, hunting, and breaking colts. Together, Jerry and Jennifer owned and operated Redstone Outfitters (a guide and outfitting business) and The Tack Shop (a western tack store) in Carbondale, CO. Jerry passed his cowboy legacy on to his kids and grandkids; where his greatest joy in life was watching them hunt, rodeo, break colts, drive draft horse teams, show horses, and play sports. Jerry and Jennifer coached high school rodeo in the Roaring Fork Valley and were actively involved in youth programs, local gymkhanas, 4-H programs, and ski clubs. The two of them proudly raised and mentored many nieces, nephews, and adopted kids along the way.
Jerry was never in the grandstands but always on the sidelines at sporting events or sitting on the fence line at horse shows and rodeos cheering (coaching) his kids and grandkids. Pride would often get the best of this ol’ cowboy as he was often caught leaving with tears in his eyes over his talented and competitive family. His kids and grandkids learned from the best.
Jerry is preceded in death by his father Joseph Ralph Burtard, brothers Louis “Louie” Dale Burtard and Thomas Kevin Burtard, sister Janine Marie Burtard, mother-in-law Cleo Bertie McColm Day, father-in-law Willis Day, and sister-in-law Judy (Day) Sawyer.
His strong worn-out hands, black coal dusted face, broken-down back, and cowboy gimp told a story of all the endless sacrifices he made in life for his family. However, he will be remembered by his tear-filled blue eyes, tender heart, entertaining personality, and unconditional love for his family. Friends and family are invited to his memorial on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 11 am in Carbondale, CO.
Please contact Joseph R. Burtard for the memorial details at 719.671.7145.
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