Harlan J. Burchardi died peacefully on March 16th, 2020 in his chair at his home in Los Olivos. He was a devoted husband for 66 years to his lovely wife Elizabeth (Betty), a loving father, grandfather, great grandfather and dedicated public servant.
He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an Animal Husbandry major and returned to Solvang to run the family dairy in 1953. Burchardi Dairy was the first dairy in Solvang, some might remember the giant milk bottle on the west side of town.
Harlan loved to contribute to his community by serving on multiple Boards, including the Los Olivos Elementary School Board, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Board, Farm Bureau and most notably the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District ID #1 where he served for over 50 years. His vision and dedication helped contribute to the foundation of our fine Valley. Many people said Harlan had forgotten more than most of us could ever remember.
Harlan loved a good meal, with Betty providing over 70,000 of them, always finishing with “tak for mad”- Danish for “thanks for food”- only for him to ask; “Hey what are we having tomorrow”? He especially loved a good argument. One of his favorite sayings was; “Arguing with him was like wrestling with a pig. You get muddy and the pig likes it”.
He was a stickler for details and always had a calculator in his pocket.
He is survived by wife Betty, his children Lynne, Mike, Joe and Beverly. He was proceeded in death by a son David. He had 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. We all will miss him.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
Also, in consideration of family and friends during this time of coronavirus, there will be no services and we will honor Harlan at a later date.
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