William "Bill" Burman, 76, of Rogue River, Ore., passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, July 18, 2011.

William was born October 13, 1934, in Bismark, N.D., and moved to Southern Oregon as a child in the 1940's. He was the son of Raymond and Mildred Scott Burman. Bill's folks bought the old Messenger Ranch in Williams, where he grew up and developed his love for the outdoors: fishing, hunting and riding horses. He joined the Navy in 1952, serving in the Korean conflict and in Vietnam. During his career in the Navy, Bill married his first wife, Alice "Sye" Healy, in 1955, and they had two sons, Jeffrey and Chris. He was best known as a self taught saddle maker that spent his spare time perfecting his craft while serving in the Navy. Bill retired from the Navy in 1972 as senior chief petty officer. When he came home to stay after twenty years in the service, he opened Burman Saddlery on Rogue River Highway, where it is today. He also worked twenty years at Sawyers Oar and Paddle Co., of Rogue River. Bill's first wife, Sye, passed away in 1994, and he married Sharron Maguire on August 12, 1995, and they became a blended family with five children.

Bill is survived by his wife, Sharron; sons, Jeff and Chris, Sr.; stepsons, Rex and Steven Southwick; stepdaughter, Cynthia Johnston Burman; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A celebration of his life to be held at Tom Pearce Park, in Grants Pass, on Sunday, July 24, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. There will be a potluck and barbeque, music and story telling. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made at any Umpqua Bank branch in the name of Bill Burman.

For online condolences and tributes, please visit www.stephensfc.com. Arrangements by Stephens Family Chapel.