Cover photo for Martin Charles Burkland's Obituary
Martin Charles Burkland Profile Photo
1951 Martin 2024

Martin Charles Burkland

October 17, 1951 — January 24, 2024

The world has lost a wonderful person.

Martin Burkland's joy and kindness were an inspiration to those who were lucky enough to have known him.

"Marty," as he was called by friends and family, passed away on January 24 at Harborview Medical Center with his sons by his side— one last moment together as the crew he fondly referred to as the "Burkland Boys."

Marty was the second of four children of Dr. Martin G. and Marion K. Burkland. He grew up in Seattle and graduated from Ingraham High School in 1969. Marty spent one year in active duty in the Coast Guard before enrolling at Central Washington University where he graduated in 1975 as valedictorian of his class. He remained in the Coast Guard active reserves while attending CWU and would wear a wig to hide his long hair when called up for duty.

Marty joined the family business, B&J Industrial Supply Co., which his grandfather founded in 1936 as Ropes, Inc. in the narrow building that is now Sluggers Bar in Pioneer Square, Seattle. He took over as B&J's President from his Uncle Chuck in 1981. Marty led the merger of this business with similar companies across the country to create the Industrial Distribution Group, which went public on the NASDAQ in 1999. He was IDG's Regional President for six years before hanging up his tool belt. A co-worker and friend wrote to his sons upon hearing of Marty's passing, "I worked with Martin from 1974 to 2005. Every day I wish I still worked with him."

In 1979, Marty married Christine Stark. They had two sons who they raised on Bainbridge Island, a place Marty had fallen in love with when he bought a cabin on Hidden Cove in 1974. Marty moved to Sun Valley, Idaho in 2014 to enjoy an active retirement, embracing his role as a "Yellow Jacket" ski host on Bald Mountain. He met his significant other Lorraine Davis in 2016, and they enjoyed the mountain life together.

Marty had a zest for life that was infectious. He brought fun and enthusiasm to everything he did, and he saw the best in everyone. A close friend of Marty's described his fun-loving nature in a letter to his sons, written shortly after he died: "I hope you know how much his friendship has meant to us all these years. He was so earnest. We could trust him, and we could depend on him to throw a little pixie dust on the most ordinary of times."

Marty was a generous and supportive father, a warm and welcoming father-in-law, and a doting grandparent. If you knew him, you loved him, and those who loved him will miss him greatly.

Marty was predeceased by his parents; nephew Kristian Burkland, nieces Elizabeth Burkland and Katie MacPherson; and stepsister Rhonda Mills. He is survived by his son Tyler and his wife Joan Hemphill, son Scott and his wife Angela; and his beloved grandson Will. He is also survived by his siblings Sue, Nancy, and Kris; niece Misty; stepmother Mary; stepbrother Jay; and stepsisters Lynda and Merridith.

A celebration of his life will be held on 4/13/24 at Ray's Boathouse in Ballard from 5pm to 9pm. All are Welcome to attend.

Remembrances may be sent to the Burkland/Butner Courage Scholarship (attn: Jackie Chalmers, 16408 East 9th Lane, Spokane Valley, WA 99037) or Higher Ground Sun Valley for the Adaptive Sports Program (

Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martin Charles Burkland, please visit our flower store.


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