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Former WSLC, Woodworkers officer Robin Burmester dies

Former Washington State Labor Council Vice President and Woodworkers/IAM W2 President Robin Burmester, 77, died peacefully at his home in Humptulips on Sept. 7 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Burmester was a heavy equipment operator for ITT Rayonier in Grays Harbor for 24 years. He joined the Woodworkers/IAM W2 union early in his career and was a loyal and dedicated member where he served in many capacities, including President. His work in the union led him to become the Vice President of the Washington State Labor Council from 1988 to 1994.

“I was proud to work with Robin during his tenure as a Labor Council vice president,” said WSLC President Jeff Johnson. “He was a champion for the rights of working men and women and he was a man of generous spirit. Robin will be greatly missed.”

Born on July 18, 1935, Burmester’s family moved from the Midwest to Grays Harbor when Robin was 22, after he served in the National Guard. He was first employed in a logging camp and then the chair factory and pulp mill before going to work for ITT Rayonier.

Robin is survived by his wife of 42 years, Marylou; his daughters Cathy (Carl) Cozad & Lori (Angel) Garcia; his sons Daniel (Joni) Burmester & Randy Burmester; his grandchildren Erica and Robin Cozad; Carlos, Casandra, and Orlando Garcia; and Clorissa Burmester. He is also survived by his brothers Richard and Donny Burmester, and Jerry Novek; sister Joan Bundy; and aunt Josie Grabow. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters June Novek, and Mary Sandford, and step-son Steve Major.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the family home in Humptulips. All family and friends are welcome. Donations can be made to The American Cancer Society, 1313 Broadway Ste 100, Tacoma, WA, 98402.

Read Burmester’s full obituary here.

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