Robert Eugene Burnett 1931 - 2021

Robert Eugene Burnett died peacefully at his home in McMinnville, Oregon, on December 1, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He was born July 18, 1931, to Mildred and John Burnett of Niagara Falls, New York. He attended school near Niagara Falls, graduating in 1949. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the Korean conflict on the aircraft carrier USS Princeton until 1953. During this time Bob witnessed nuclear test detonations at a safe distance from the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. While still in the military, Bob met Louise Huebner at a USO Club in the Bay Area where she volunteered. After his stint in the Navy, he attended San Jose State University, graduating in 1958 with a degree in Industrial Technology. During this time, Bob and Louise were married and welcomed four children to their home and family.

Bob was a life-time employee of Hewlett-Packard, beginning at Palo Alto, California, in 1958, transferring to Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1968, and ending his career in McMinnville as Manufacturing Manager of the HP Medical Division from 1977 to 1995. He loved every aspect of manufacturing. He was the kind of boss who was always mentoring his co-workers and making the workplace more pleasant and productive. He cared deeply for the people he supervised and always tried to advocate and provide opportunities for them.

Bob met Carol Scofield in McMinnville, and they were married in August of 1982. Bob and Carol made a warm and welcoming home together, both for themselves, and as a gathering place for family and friends.

Bob loved Costa Rica and traveled there often during the last 28 years. He consulted in Costa Rica for his true friend, Bobby Laughlin, at the Laughlin Glove Factory located in San Isidro, Costa Rica. Bob enjoyed and embraced the people at the glove factory and in the town, and they loved him. Bob found working in Costa Rica meaningful, and also found enjoyment while fishing, watching wildlife, experiencing the Costa Rican culture, reading a good book and relaxing.

Bob was instrumental in starting and nurturing the International Pinot Noir Celebration. The IPNC has become the pre-eminent annual international Pinot Noir celebration of food and wine, the world over. He served on the Board of Directors in the early years. Bob was also in charge of the wine room during the first years of the Celebration, which was a critical and essential role.

Bob loved to play golf, dance, watch all sports and travel the world for work and leisure. Bob loved his large family and was very proud of their accomplishments. He was widely known as a kind and generous soul. His lifetime friends were always there, most recently at his 90th birthday this past summer.

Bob is survived by his devoted wife of 39 years, Carol; his children, Susan Burnett (Irv Hipschman) of Pacific Grove, California, William Burnett (Cyndee Benjamin) of San Francisco, Steven Burnett (Liz) of Charlotte, North Carolina, and James Burnett (Malisse Cunningham) of Salem, Oregon; his step-children, Deborah Elliott of Portland, Oregon, Steven Scofield (Johnice) of Redding, California, and Kenneth Scofield of Anchorage. He is also survived by Jeff Lucas (Christine) of Mountain View, California, who considered Bob his father by blessings of the heart for 35 years. He is also survived by 12 beloved grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Foundation Bonnie Jean Laughlin, a foundation that helps children in San Isidro, Costa Rica, a cause near and dear to Bob’s heart. Please mail contributions to FBJL @ Robert Laughlin, P.O. Box 399, Carlton, OR 97111

A memorial party in Bob's honor will be held in early summer 2022.


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