Stephen William “Bus” Burwash died peacefully on July 5, 2019 in Tacoma. He was 97 years old. Born on March 17, 1922 in Spanaway to Alice M. and Stephen W. Burwash, Steve spent his childhood in Tacoma.

In 1936, he began working summers at the Kjelstad farm in Ohop valley when he was 14 and met his future wife, Carolyn Kjelstad, when she was five.
Steve moved to the Kjelstad farm during high school, graduated from Eatonville High School in 1940 and went to work as a logger.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and fought in the European theatre as part of the 9th Army 567 Ordinance Company. He was honorably discharged in 1946, returned to Eatonville and went back to work as a logger and log truck driver.

He relocated to Tacoma to take a job as a firefighter with the Tacoma Fire Department in 1950. He retired as a lieutenant after 29 years on the force in 1979.

In 1950, Steve married Carolyn Kjelstad. They made their home in Tacoma, had 3 children, Kathleen Susan, Stephen Martin, and Mary Ellen. During these years he served as a Cub Scout Pack Leader, Mt. Rainier tour bus driver, and taught industrial first aid courses when not fulfilling his duties as a fireman and helping out at the Kjelstad farm.

In 1975, Steve and Carolyn moved from Tacoma to the Kjelstad farm where they remained for 35 years. He was an active member of the Ohop Grange, Bethany Lutheran Church, the Eatonville chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and 4 H. With Carolyn, they developed a herd of prize Guernsey cattle.

After Carolyn’s death in 2010 after nearly 60 years of marriage, Steve sold the Kjelstad farm to the Nisqually Land Trust. In 2013, Steve moved to Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community and became a much-loved volunteer, friend, and story teller there.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Chester Burwash, and his wife Carolyn. He is survived by his children, Kathleen Hasselblad (Robert), Martin Burwash (Janice), and Mary Chalberg (Randy), seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

Interment will be conducted July 22, at 10 AM at Bethany Lutheran Church Cemetery. Steve’s memorial service will be held in Tacoma at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by the Narrows at 2 PM, July 22nd.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Steve’s name to Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community Foundation Resident Assistance Fund or the Tacoma Fire Department. Funeral arrangements have been made by Mountain View Funeral Home.