Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Donald Martin Burke

Hoquiam Police Department, Washington

End of Watch Wednesday, April 16, 1980

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Reflections for Patrolman Donald Martin Burke

Rest in peace.


April 16, 2020

Patrolman Burke,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Hoquiam. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 16, 2020

Rest in peace Patrolman Burke.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

February 7, 2020


It never has to be the anniversary of your death for me to remember you. Physically your not here but I know your never far both my kids Blake and Ashley never questioned who you were and your great grand kids Maria and Carter wont either. Thank you for being the best dad I could ask for and for living and teaching me what I needed to know even at 10 yrs old. Im still learning from your legacy. Thank you for the "Dad smacks" or the attention getters from heaven when I need them like Maria being born on the same day you died.

I love you and hope I have made you proud

Denise Burke (Trimmer)
Youngest of daughters

April 17, 2016

Officer Burke was introduced to me by Ron Mox. Unfortunately I was not able to learn more about him having moved from the Harbor in '78. I knew most of the officers from Aberdeen and Hoquiam PD. The death was felt well beyond the boundaries of Grays Harbor.

Sgt. Don Dineen (retired)
Ocean Shores PD

Sgt. Don Dineen (ret.)
Ocean Shores and Cosmopolis PD

June 15, 2014

34 Years ago today, you made your last traffic stop and I was there with you when you took your last breath. I think of the many roadside contacts we made, and the cups of coffee we shared, as well as the hunting and fishing stories we told. I think of you often because you taught me 2 very important lessons about the job; Blue uniforms don't stop bullets and it's ok for a cop to cry. Rest in Peace Brother. God Bless.

Lt. Ken Boad - Retired
Washington State Patrol

April 16, 2014

though I never met him im proud to be his grandson I have heard stories all my life and he sounds like an awesome man I only wish I could have met him

Blake Trimmer

September 3, 2013

I went to school with Alicia and I still to this day remember what a great officer that her dad was - I remember the shooting like it happened just yesterday. I remember how it shocked the Grays Harbor area. I also remember how much his daughter Alicia loved her dad so I know he wasn't just a great Officer he was so much more he was also a great family man.

you may be gone but you have never been forgotten

Cynthia M. Peterson - Crawford

Cynthia Crawford

June 11, 2013

I went to school with Alicia and I still to this day remember what a great officer that her dad was - I remember the shooting like it happened just yesterday. I remember how it shocked the Grays Harbor area. I also remember how much his daughter Alicia loved her dad so I know he wasn't just a great Officer he was so much more he was also a great family man.

Cynthia Crawford

June 11, 2013

Don,you replaced me at Hoquiam pd. I was there at the service honoring you when two more morons robbed the hospital pharmacy. It did not turn out well for the bad guys that day either. Love yo and yours.

Terry McMaster
Wenatchee pd retired

May 1, 2013

Don, you were my training officer in 1978. I met your family and was very impressed with your commitment to them. I moved onto Kent, Wa police department and then into the fire service. I think about you often and came across this site because one of your future comrades was shot and wounded today. I remember you as if it was yesterday that we lost you. I will say an extra prayer for you and your family tonight. rj

Retired Battalion Chief, Ray Johnson
Redding Fire Department

March 28, 2013

Even though i never got to meet him, I love you grandpa.

Alyssa Dugard

August 23, 2012

I will always remember officer Burke. He and my mother worked together at HPD, On the day we lost him they were working the same shift. Don was a wonderful man, husband and father. I talk to his daughter Denise regularly and we reflect on her father. I too visit Dons resting spot every time I go to Hoquiam. My mother ironicly is laid to rest very near him and I know she is honored to rest next to our hero. god bless you and Rest in Peace Don. THANK YOU Jennifer Smiley-Hawley

Jennifer Smiley-Hawley

July 23, 2012

I also met Officer Burke at the age of 13; I was a friend of his daughter, Alicia. He has never been far from my mind or my memory and I can never hear the phrase "to protect and to serve" without thinking of him.
Few people leave an impression on your mind like he did on mine and I grieve, still, for all of us who loved him; I grieve for Juana and the girls.
I will never forget him telling me that PIG stood for Pride, Integrity, and Guts and how he never saw that word as an insult.
Officer Burke gave his life in the line of duty; duty to his badge and the county he served, and I feel that it is my duty to remember him.
Rest in Peace, Don.

Kelli Delzer

March 31, 2012

I first met Officer Don Burke, many years ago when I was 13. I have never forgotten him and I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing on the day he fell. I read this Memorial often and never fail to shed a tear. I miss Don and wish him peace.

Alma Cahill

October 29, 2010

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

April 16, 2010


There hasn't been one single day I haven't thought about you since that sunny Wednesday afternoon you were taken from us. In your honor and because of you, my friend, I lived to retire 28 years later. You are my hero, Blue Knight, we all miss you and will never forget you.

Sergeant-Retired Dallas L. Hensley
Hoquiam Police Dept.

February 25, 2010

My dad was awesome.


May 6, 2009

My name is Irene (Vansyckle) Wilson. The daughter to Perry and Linda Vansyckle. I grew up with Don's girls. Our parents were very close friends. I have such fond memories of Don. I was only 11 when he was killed and it had a devastating affect on me. I am 39 now and still think of him and his family often and wish I knew how to get in touch with them. We miss them very much. If anyone reading this who knows them could just mention our names to them. I would love to talk to them again. Any of them. And I know my parents would be thrilled. Thank you. And to Don, After all these years you are still missed deeply by the people you touched. Even I, an 11 yr old girl. I love you. You were an amazing father, husband and friend.

Irene (Vansyckle) Wilson
Friend to the family

December 27, 2008

I will always remember that fateful day that Officer Burke made the ultimate sacrifice. I was home, only a block or two away from where it happened. I initally didn't know what happened until I heard about the chase of the suspects through my hometown and heard all of the sirens wailing. When I heard that Officer Burke was down, I prayed for him, though I didn't know him, to overcome his injuries.

I was only a teen at the time. But, because of his dedication and honor to the duty bestowed upon him to protect and serve all citizens, I decided to become a police officer myself.

I will try honor his dedication to duty by being the best officer I can become. May Officer Burke rest in peace and protect those whom need his protection.

Officer Brian Mollett
Shoalwater Bay Tribal Police Dept.

August 20, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

April 28, 2008

Mr. Burke.. I remember the day it was pouring down rain and I had just turned onto K Street taking my 4 year old son to preschool when I got a flat tire. I parked my car and walked with my son the two blocks to the school. I then went back to my car drenched with a grandma who was dropping her grandson off at preschool... we looked through the book on how to change a tire.. when you pulled up ... you got out and laughed and said I had a car just like this and I will fix it.. You did and you were not only wet but dirty too... I have never forgotten that day and I have never forgotten you nor will I ever. You took an oath to protect and you did just that. My dad retired from the Hoquiam Police Dept 1975.



February 9, 2008

Though I didn't know Patrolman Burke and only know what I've read on this web site, I honor his memory.

Angel in Alabama

December 20, 2007

I have been given the honor of preparing your story for the City of Hoquiam. I do not believe in regrets but today I regret never meeting you. Thank you for your service.

Hoquiam Resident

September 26, 2006

I took my 5 year old son on a walk of the cemetary and found your resting place. I told him what I remembered about you as an officer. Now whenever we take a walk to the cemetary we always stop to leave flowers or reflect upon how you gave your life protecting others. My son looks forward to stopping, sprucing up your resting place and leaving flowers.


July 9, 2006

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