Ronald Dean Burian died suddenly on June 21. He was born in 1947 in Lebanon, Oregon, where he grew up in the country with his family, including his two sisters, Judy Billings and Jeanne Wright. He served in Vietnam as a combat soldier, and when he returned to the US, he moved to Aspen, Colorado. There he met his wife, Jennifer, and they lived in the mountains and skied every day. They moved to Madison and had two amazing children, elly rainbow and Caleb. He was so thrilled to have them marry wonderful spouses, Joshua and Andrea. His grandchildren, Luca and Wilder, were the love of his life. He taught them to garden and instilled in them a love of the earth.
In Vietnam, Ron encountered a Buddhist monk who was a scout for the US Army. This monk serenely walked through jungle war zones, which made an indelible impression on Ron. Once back in the US, he began Buddhist studies and in 1992 was a founding member of a Buddhist congregation in Madison and was instrumental in the construction of a Buddhist monument in Wisconsin.
For the past 20 years, Ron worked as a social work researcher in Chicago, connecting with youth in the prison system. After retiring last year, he volunteered in Wisconsin's prisons doing mindfulness meditation with inmates. He was passionate about veterans and their mental health, and participated in many veteran groups in town.
Ron's vet friend Christopher shared this,
"The social sage that he was, he was always looking for ways to help others on their journeys, wherever he found them, and with whatever tools he had. He was known for this and he will be remembered for this."
Ron was a wise spiritual brother and leader. Ron's steady, kind and generous nature nurtured and encouraged everyone around him. Ron will be deeply missed. He loved well, lived well and died well.
Our hearts are broken to lose this wonderful human being.
Peace Be Ron.
The Four Immeasurables:
May all beings be happy and have the causes of happiness.
May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they find joy free from sorrow.
May they rest in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion.
Ron requested no memorial service, but will have a private Buddhist ceremony at his cremation. Donations may be sent in Ron's name to: