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June 8, 1935 ~ January 15, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Memorial services for Jeff Burkink, age 88, of Norfolk, will be 1:30 p.m., Monday, January 22, 2024, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ. Reverend Jackie Perry will officiate.
Visitation with family will be 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday at Home for Funerals Chapel, 708 Georgia Avenue, in Norfolk.
Home for Funerals in Norfolk is in charge of arrangements.
Jeff passed away Monday, January 15, 2024, at University of Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.
L. Jeff Burkink was born on June 8, 1935, to Lee and Odetta Burkink in Scribner, NE. After graduation from Scribner High School in 1953, his sports talent gave him the opportunity to attend Midland College to play football and run track until 1956 when he joined the US Army. Following his military service, he completed his Bachelor degree from Wayne State College in 1960. Jeff began his educational career at Norfolk Senior High in 1960 as a Biology teacher and coach of many sports. He continued his education at Kearney State College and the University of South Dakota to obtain his Master’s and Educational Specialist degrees, respectively.
In 1969, he began his career as Assistant Principal and continued until 1973 when he became Principal at Norfolk Senior High. During his tenure as Principal, Jeff witnessed the addition of The Johnny Carson Theater, open campus evolution, 5-day sports holiday moratorium and initiation of the Northeast Nebraska All-Academic team. He received many awards and honors. In 1996, Jeff retired from Norfolk Public Schools, after 36 years of dedicated service. He took great pride in the graduates and staff of Norfolk High School.
Jeff’s longevity in the Norfolk community involvement included Lion’s Club, United Way, YMCA, and First Congregational United Church of Christ. He was also an active American Red Cross blood donor (20-gallon club) and with Elkhorn Valley Museum. Jeff was a longtime member of Norfolk Country Club where he enjoyed his 1:07 p.m. golf group. Other hobbies included boating, waterskiing, DIY projects, country music and the outdoors. He delighted in helping his kids and grandkids with endless tasks when assistance was needed. A cold Miller was enjoyed at the end of a successful day.
Those left behind to celebrate Jeff’s life and legacy include, his wife of 63-years, Evonne and one sister, JoAnn Dahl of Fremont. He has three children, Jay (Denise) of Texas, Doug (Beata) of Norfolk and Beth Dawson (John) of Bellevue, NE; six grandchildren, Paige Bowen and Drew Burkink of Texas, Chelsea Burkink of Omaha, Myles Burkink of Norfolk, Carter Dawson and Dillon Dawson of Bellevue, NE; and one great granddaughter, Jovie Burkink (Drew and Amanda) of Texas was recently introduced to her great grandfather.
Jeff was preceded in death by parents, Lee Sr and Odetta Burkink; brother, Lee Jr; and sister, Bertie Modelski.
As an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations: Norfolk Public School Foundation for scholarships, Norfolk Lion’s Club and Norfolk Family YMCA. Your generosity will make a meaningful impact and bring joy to those in need.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.homeforfuneralsinc.com.