Douglas Burnett

Douglas Burnett

March 20, 1944 June 28, 2020

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Obituary for Douglas Charles Burnett

Douglas Charles Burnett, 76, died June 23, 2020. Along with his skills at computer technology, Doug was a world traveler, teacher, photographer and woodworker.

Doug was the only child of Bertrand F. Burnett and Nadine French Burnett, and from a young age always wanted to see how things worked. His parents often told the story about the time Doug’s father bought his young son a new bike. Doug took it apart piece by piece just to see how it worked.

Just out of high school, Doug started his career making detailed prototype models and later studied woodworking in New York. In the 1970's, he ran his own business making furniture in Ann Arbor. He also taught woodworking in New York and Ann Arbor schools and lived for a time in California.

Doug was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and worked at the University of Michigan hospital to fulfill his military duty.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University, with a concentration in business computer systems.

While employed at Booth Newspapers, Doug ran many computer seminars for employees until he retired in 2007.

In retirement, he had more time for travels that spanned the globe. He often spent time in Thailand and Central America, adding to a number of fine photographs he took on these trips.

Most recently, Doug held conversation classes for a number of Japanese students out of his home, and he always looked forward to meeting his former students on trips to Japan.

Memorial contributions should be made to Washtenaw Literacy through its website

No memorial services are planned at this time.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Douglas Charles Burnett, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Provide comfort for the family of Douglas Charles Burnett by sending flowers.
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john sheridan

Doug; Perhaps your spirit is aware that the small world of the Peters Valley School of Craft is gathering for a few months in Clinton, New Jersey, at the Hunterdon Art Museum for From The Ground Up exhibition. You were a strong influence there in 1970's in the wood studio. Thank you for the chance to see the perfection in your work., Portland, Oregon
Comment | Posted at 10:26am via Condolence

Mary Jo LeBlanc

Goodbye to a complicated, yet simple man, who was loved by many! Thank you for teaching me about furniture and the enjoyment that travel can bring. I never paint a room without thinking about you and how you taught me to paint both interior and exterior walls.
Comment | Posted at 11:29am via Condolence

Peg Eisenstodt

Well, Doug, you’ve left a few of us with fun memories of many years of Friday lunches at Shalimar followed by sharing brownies at Sweetwaters. We loved hearing about your travels and receiving little trinkets from those trips. I loved your sense of humor. You are missed.

Comment | Posted at 12:11pm via Condolence

David Olson

Hello, Peg. We are having a gathering of friends this Saturday, 5 September at noon to remember Doug. Please contact me if you'd like more information. Many thanks... David
Posted at 01:40pm


Craftsman, perfectionist, photographer, teacher, world traveler, tinkerer, artist, and more. A stubbornly unconventional life in many ways. For the record, Doug studied woodworking at Peters Valley in Sussex County, New Jersey, not New York. He taught woodworking in NYC where the police towed his van. He asked how a police officer got they inside his locked van and the reply was "How da ya tink the thieves get in?" Mark
Comment | Posted at 11:22am via Condolence

I'll miss you, buddy. I'll miss our lunches and long walks, the jokes and long conversations about everything and nothing at all.
So fortunate to have had you as a friend for so long.
Comment | Posted at 07:34pm via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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