Jack (John) Burnham (EAA 451671) always had a spirit of adventure and in his death; he assured that his spirit lives on through EAA Aviation Foundation.
Jack joined the U.S. Navy in 1948 and served until 1952. During the Korean War, he was a boot camp platoon and airman school leader in addition to a qualified parachutist. After serving our country, Jack enrolled in college, became a member of the Navy swimming team, and ultimately graduated from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy with a degree in civil engineering. Upon graduation, Jack worked at the Boeing Company in the aerospace division. After leaving Boeing, he continued his professional career in the Teton area.
In the early 1990s, Jack retired, but continued to pursue his lifelong interest of flying. He loved to go ice fishing with a snow plane and soar over the Teton Range in a glider. He spent several winters in Marana, Arizona, flying and swapping stories with friends, who called him "the Ancient Aviator." He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen.
As part of Jack's aviation interest, he became an EAA member in 1994 and was an active volunteer in his local Young Eagle program. Over his lifetime, he gave 160 Young Eagle flights. He visited Oshkosh for the annual convention and it was a highlight of his aviation related activities. Not only was he a long-time member, he was a strong supporter of the organization, often attending the Gathering of Eagles.
At the time of his passing in 2015, he left his estate to EAA Aviation Foundation to establish a significant scholarship fund to provide tuition assistance for needy and qualified applicants interested in pursuing a career in aeronautics engineering or pilot training.