Wilson E. Burrill (Col. USAF Retired) 1919-2021
Last updated 11/16/2021 at 2:20pm
Wilson passed away peacefully on April 30 in Bellevue, Washington.
Wilson (Wil) was born April 2, 1919, to Clyde and Mattie (Walker) Burrill in Gregory, South Dakota.
In his senior year of high school, the family moved to Lompoc, California, where he met the love of his life, Betty Gunderson. In July 1941, Wil and Betty married and continued a loving, caring relationship that would span 73 years, ending only with Betty’s passing in 2014.
Wil joined the Army Air Corp in 1941. On March 19, 1944, Wil’s B-17 was shot down. After bailing out over Austria, he was captured and interred as a POW in Stalag Luft 1 until the camp was freed by the Russian Army in April 1945.
Following the war, in 1947 Wil received a regular commission in the United States Air Force, and what followed was 21 additional years in the service of his country.
After his retirement from the Air Force, Wil spent the next 18 years working for the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company out of Everett.
Wil is survived by his and Betty’s three children: Barbara (husband Jim) of Indian Wells, California; Bob (wife Paula) of Spearfish, South Dakota; and Dick (wife Charlotte) of Rathdrum, Idaho; along with eight grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
A private interment took place May 18 at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.