Ex-councilman Burkett dead at 59
by Charles Slat , last modified February 16. 2009 10:57AM
William A. Burkett, 59. of Monroe, a retired autoworker, veteran
city councilman and mayoral candidate in 2007, died Saturday at
University of Toledo Medical Center. He had been in poor health for
months and hospitalized for several days.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Allore Chapel-Martenson Family
of Funeral Homes.
"His loss is a loss to the community," said Monroe Mayor Mark G.
Worrell, who had known Mr. Burkett for many years and served with
him on the city council. "One could disagree with Bill, but the tone
was always civil. He held himself high and was greatly respected by
his peers on council.
A 1967 Monroe High School graduate, he worked for 37 years at Ford
Motor Co.'s Woodhaven Stamping Plant, retiring in 2004. He completed
a plumber-pipefitter apprenticeship in 1977 and was a graduate of
Highland Park Community College.
A professional auctioneer since 1967, he served as 1st Precinct
councilman from 1992-93 and from 1999 to 2008. He served as mayor
pro tem from 2005 to 2007. He also has served on various city
Mr. Burkett had suffered from kidney failure and was on dialysis
from September, 2002, until he received a kidney transplant in
January, 2005. Though he had complications after the surgery, they
cleared up and he no longer had to have dialysis. He said he felt he
had a new lease on life and became a strong advocate for organ
His death apparently was due to complications from pneumonia.
Mr. Worrell said Mr. Burkett had either been hospitalized or in
rehabilitation for several months. He was released to home a few
weeks ago, but then returned to the hospital recently.
Only days ago, he had requested that his name be withdrawn from
consideration for reappointment to the city Zoning Board of Appeals
until his health could improve.
"He wanted to be taken off the list for a while until he got his
health back, but he wanted to be considered for future
appointments," Mr. Worrell said. "He continued to have a desire to
serve on city boards."
The mayor called Mr. Burkett "a caring father and husband" and said
"he was blessed to have the support of his wife, Chris, through
challenging health issues in recent years."
Mr. Burkett was an affable and easy-going public servant.
"He was a gentleman community servant," Mayor Worrell said.
"I take pride in the fact that I can work with anyone," Mr. Burkett
said during his campaign for mayor. "Honestly, I believe that's
probably one of the most important qualities you should look for in
a mayor. I believe I use common sense to solve problems. I believe a
leader listens first and talks second."
His public service included terms on the Mayor's Traffic Committee,
Monroe Custer Airport liaison, Water Quality Committee and Economic
He was a member of the board of trustees of the Penrickton Center
for Blind Children in Taylor from 1999 to 2004. He and his wife also
Taken from the Monroe Evening News