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Haven Ralph Burningham
Jun 24, 2014 | 1718 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Haven drew his last breath on June 20, 2014, after five weeks at a residential care facility in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He was then in the company of his attentive spouse of 14 years, Angela Obermeier.

He was born in the Bountiful family farm house of his parents Heber Irving Burningham and Mary Zesiger Burningham at 193 South 600 East on September 23, 1918. He grew up as a typical farm boy in Davis County and graduated in 1936 from Davis High School. His LDS mission to New Zealand was cut short in 1941 by the outbreak of war in the Pacific, whereupon he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, trained as a B-17 bomber pilot, and led his flight crew safely through 30 missions out of England over Europe.

Before departing for combat, he married Afton Sessions in the Salt Lake City Temple on December 10, 1943. At the conclusion of World War II, they helped initiate the post-war baby boom with sons Kent in 1946 and Tod in 1950.

Haven reentered the US Air Force in 1947, and, with his family in tow, pursued a military service career of 28 years rising to the rank of Colonel. He served as an Air Force intelligence specialist, first relative to Eastern Europe, and then relative to China during tours at several locations in the US (three of which were in the Washington, D.C. area), at two locations in Turkey (Istanbul and Izmir), and at Taipei, Taiwan. He retired from the military and was discharged in 1974.

Returning to Bountiful, he involved himself in church and civic activities, such as directing the South Davis Chamber of Commerce, until the death of Afton in 1999. He and Angela were married the next year and lived together in Bountiful until 2009 and in the Philadelphia area thereafter.

He is survived by a complicated web of interesting relations: his wife Angela; her daughter Camille McQuillan, spouse David, and their children Angela, Michael, Rebecca, and Christopher; his younger son Tod Sessions, spouse Anna, and their children Daniel Tod and Lisa Ann; his elder son Kent Sessions and spouse Marilynn; Kent’s former spouse Suzanne Johnson and their three children Paul Haven and spouse Thania Vargas; Lucy Claire, spouse Tony Pereira, and son Oscar Anthony, Grant Eric, spouse Sarah O’Leary, and daughter Leigh Claria; and Marilyn’s three children, Kirsten Shellene and spouse Rich, Aaron Fineshaiber and spouse Allison Hammer, and Carrie Johanson and spouse William, and sons Isak William and Henry Hayden.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 1, at the LDS Moss Hill Ward, 455 S. 1200 East, Bountiful. Friends and family may visit the preceding day, Monday, June 30, between 6 and 8 p.m. at the Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 North Main Street, Bountiful, or on Tuesday, July 1, between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. at the Moss Hill Ward. Interment will be at the Bountiful City Cemetery. An online guestbook at

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