The People's Tribune

Philip Wayne Burdett

Philip Wayne Burdett, 60, of Steelville died Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m., Saturday at Hutson Funeral Home in Steelville.

Visitation will be from 2-3 p.m., Sunday at the funeral home.

He was born Saturday, March 16, 1957, in St. Louis to Virlyn Revis Burdett and Norma Deane Smith Burdett. He married Annette Rufkahr at Liberty Church, Steelville on June 5, 2010.

He is survived by his wife, Annette Burdett of Steelville; special dog, Finn McCool; step-father, Aubrey Park of Rolla; step-daughter, Catie Fisher of Chesterfield; mother-in-law, Thelma Rufkahr of Steelville; brother-in-law, Dan Rufkahr of Panama City Beach, Fla.; nieces and nephews, Jessica Mandelberger and husband, Jeremy of St. Peters, Lucas Burdett of St. Charles, Jason Rufkahr of Jonesboro, Ark., and Adam Rufkahr and wife, Krystal of Bono, Ark.; great-nieces and nephews, Emma and Isaac Mandelberger, both of St. Peters, and Cole Rufkahr of Bono, Ark.; lifetime friend, John Watson and wife, Virginia of Steelville; cousins, many students, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Virlyn and Norma Burdett, father-in-law, William Rufkahr, and brother, Steven Burdett and wife, Donna.

Phil attended Riverview School in St. Louis where early on he met his lifelong friend, John Watson. This special friendship with John, and later with John’s wife Virginia, is what would influence Phil, along with his wife, Annette, to teach and retire in Steelville. He graduated from Riverview High School with a baseball scholarship to William Jewel College, which he considered to be the “Harvard of the Midwest,” where he received his accounting degree.

After working as an accountant for around a decade, Phil attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis to earn his degree in Education. He later went on to receive a master’s degree in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Phil taught government, history, civics, etc. in schools in Silex, Wright City, Bowling Green, and later Steelville. In all of those schools, he was actively involved in coaching. In Silex, he helped coach the girl’s basketball team to a state championship. In Wright City, he coached both girls softball and basketball. He then taught in Bowling Green where he would meet his wife, Annette, who also worked at the school as a principal.

While at Bowling Green, he also coached girls’ softball, girls’ basketball and some boys’ baseball. Lastly, at Steelville High School he coached girls’ softball and basketball and always announced the girls’ Powder Puff football game. In all of these schools, he was dearly loved by his students.

Phil enjoyed photography, watching sports, and fishing. He also watched Nascar every Sunday with his mother. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and beloved dog, Finn McCool during his short time of retirement.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be donated to The Nature Conservancy online:, by mail: The Nature Conservancy, ATTN: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203, or by phone: 800-628-6860. Memorials may also be donated to The Sierra Club online:, by mail: Sierra Club Member Services, 2101 Webster St., Suite 1300, Oakland, CA 94612. Tributes may be posted under this obituary.

All arrangements under the care of Hutson Funeral Home, Steelville.

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