In this photo, Dale Burkeen is with his son, Timothy, age 6. Known to his friends as “Bubb,” Dale - from Philadelphia, Mississippi - was a crane operator aboard the Deepwater Horizon. When he died in the explosion, he left behind his wife Rhonda, his daughter Aryn Sydney and his son.
The Wall Street Journal reported some of the facts surrounding Mr. Burkeen’s death:
Dale Burkeen, a 37-year-old Mississippian who operated the rig's tall starboard crane, had been trying to get out of harm's way when the blast hit. It blew him off a catwalk, other workers say, and he fell more than 50 feet to the deck, where he died.
We learn more from his obituary notice:
Memorial services were Friday, April 30, 2 p.m. at John E. Stephens Chapel with the Revs. Barry Fulton and Kevin Bryan officiating. Burial will be in North Bend Pentecostal Cemetery.
Mr. Burkeen, 37, of Philadelphia, died Tuesday, April 20, 2010, on Transocean Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico southeast of New Orleans. He had worked for Transocean deep water drilling for 10 years. He attended Neshoba Central High School and East Central Community College.
Survivors include his wife, Rhonda Burkeen of Philadelphia; daughter, Aryn Sydney Burkeen of Alaska; son, Timothy Dale Burkeen; parents, Mary Bryan Burkeen and Roger Burkeen; sisters, Janet Patricia Woodson and her husband, Archie; and Felesia Dawn Hamilton and her husband, Charlie, all of Philadelphia.
A local newspaper reported that Dale helped other crew members to save their lives, but he was unable to get off the platform in time to save himself.
Known as "Big D," to his friends and family, Burkeen was the kind of guy who put others first. His cousin, Douglas Walker, describes him this way:
Dale was a very unselfish person, very kind-hearted. He always has been through life. He's the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it.
I will be missing a friend, more than a cousin. Each one of the family members will miss something different. They will miss a son. She [Dale's sister, Janet Woodson] will be missing her brother. The children will miss a father, a great father. Rhonda will miss a husband, and all in all, a world has lost a friend.
See, also, these pictures and brief bios of the other crew members who died in the explosion in my blog ARCHIVE