Burke Melvin Frandsen was born February 20, 1902. He was one of 18 children. He married Rachel Beecie Stutznegger on February 15, 1922 in Logan, Utah. By 1933, the two had 7 children and they had fallen on hard times during the Great Depression. As the market crashed and work became scarce, Burke and his wife could no longer afford rent and were evicted from their home. They moved into an old abandoned cheese factory, which was tolerable in the spring and summer, but in the winter of 1933 it became difficult to keep the children from getting sick.
Early in 1934, Clyde Gustafson became acquainted with Burke when he came by to repair some shoes for his wife Beecie. Clyde felt impressed to preach the Gospel to Burke and his family. They were very receptive, and in time Clyde introduced them to his father and mother-in-law Charles W Kingston and Vesta Stowell.
When Vesta heard the condition the children were living in, she went down to the the factory and got the sizes of all the children. Since the LDS church had excommunicated Vesta and Charles, their family had been setting aside their tithing money for opportunities to help the poor. Vesta used the money they had set aside to buy new coats and clothes for all the Frandsen children so they could stay warm for the winter.
Burke began arranging times for Charles and Clyde to come visit his mother's family in Kimball, Idaho and teach them the Gospel ideas they had taught him. The family became very well acquainted with Charles and his teachings. They also met Elden Kingston and Burke became quite impressed with him and his teachings.
When the Davis County Cooperative started in 1935, Burke and his family joined in February of that same year. Eventually other members of his mother's family joined also. These included his brother Perry and his wife Cora Lapreal, his brother Allen and his wife Lamonda, his niece Vivian and her husband Burton Dye along with two of Burke's sisters, Blenda, Thera and Buelah who married into the Co-op.
Beecie told Burke she had dreamed of a place the Co-op would have for the family in Bountiful. When they arrived, they moved into a red-brick house with tall pines near the home place in Bountiful that Clyde had rented for them. Beecie said it was the same place she had seen in her dream. Burke stayed behind in Logan to finish paying some bills, but Clyde Gustafson left him with his motorcycle and a full tank of gas. By the time Burke had paid all his bills, he had no money left for gas and prayed that the motorcycle could get him to Bountiful. He had the impression to adjust the carburetor to run a little light and headed out. The motorcycle ran out of gas at the bottom of Elden's driveway.
Burke went on what is known in the Co-op as the Teton Trip with the first 10 men of the Cooperative later that year in 1935. He worked many jobs along side his brothers and sisters in the Co-op over the years. He and his family spent time living between Utah and Kimball, Idaho and kept close contact with Burke's mother's family in Kimball, although Burke's mother passed away in 1938.
In February of 1947, Burke began working for Charles Kingston at the Co-op coal mine in Huntington, Utah. On March 7th, 1947, Burke and 3 other men were riding in a tram down the side of the mountain when the brakes failed and the tram crashed at a high rate of speed. The other 3 men were injured but Burke was killed in the accident. He was 45 years old.
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