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Richard “Burner” Colborn, age 72, passed away at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Madison on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after an extended illness.

He was born in the town of Louisville, IL, on Oct. 13, 1946. Burner attended school in Albany, WI, and then entered the U.S. Army, serving during Vietnam as an aircraft engine repairman. He was honorably discharged in 1968 and was a life member of Tomahawk VFW Post 2687.

Most of his career was spent as a Local 498 ironworker in Rockford, IL, working on several projects including the roof at Miller Park. He loved living life on the edge, especially when riding his Harley; he was the true dare devil and feared nothing. He was a real Harley man, ever since owning his first at 16-years-old. He also enjoyed some of the safer things in life as boating, water skiing, fishing, hunting, and ATV riding of course; somehow, when he managed to hurt something but just laughed it off.

There was a very soft side he cared and helped where and when he was needed. He took on the role helping raising his nephew’s and niece when the need came and he did not complain. He would say he kept those boys so busy cutting wood for two houses that they didn’t have time to get into trouble. He was proud of how they grew up. Burner had a great big heart, but not everyone saw it. He had many friends and was grateful for them all.

Burner is survived by his beloved sweetheart, Debra Carlson for the past 18 years; his loving daughter and the apple of his eye, Kelly (Scott) Wywialowski; and his grandchildren, his pride and joy, Caden, Morgan, and Zolton; his son, Rich (Nikki) Colborn; his loving extended family, Lisa (Chris) Murphy; their children, Ciara Cameron, Carson, Stephani (Ryan Bentley) Carlson, their children Alycia, Aubrey, Liam, Scott (Nikki) Carlson, their children, Thomas, Jillian, Julianna; Burner’s siblings; Ronald Colborn, Karen Davis, Marilyn (Glenn) Sieren, Peggy (Bill) Leutenegger, Cindy Crandall; also survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Burner was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence Colborn and Helen Davis; his grandparents, aunts, and uncles.


Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3 at Holly Funeral Home in Wild Rose. Graveside service will follow the visitation at Poy Sippi Cemetery in Poy Sippi. Online condolences available at