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Columbia Missourian

Morgan Andrew Burnham enjoyed antiquing, playing in band

By Heidi Li
August 15, 2013 | 5:29 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Morgan Burnham loved to spend time with his family. He liked adventures, and always drove the country roads with his toy poodle, Harriet, at his side. And he had a passion for history, exploring antique malls and flea markets with his wife.

“He was truly funny and loveable,” Emily Bach, his wife, said. “You never met anyone who didn’t like Morgan. He had a huge circle of friends.”

Mr. Burnham of Columbia died Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, from complications associated with liver disease. He was 33.

Mr. Burnham was born Sept. 23, 1979, in Columbia to Bill and Helen Burnham. He married Emily Bach on Nov. 20, 2010.

Mr. Burnham's twin sisters introduced he and Emily in 2003. The couple shared their first date at Addison's on New Year’s Day and made New Year's Day at Addison's an anniversary tradition.

Mr. Burnham grew up in Columbia and graduated from Hickman High School in 1998. He took courses at MU and Columbia College. He and John Gillig started All Star Lawn Care in 2004. Mr. Burnham sold the business in the fall of 2012, deciding to return to school and begin a new chapter in his life.

“Morgan loved history very much,” his wife said. Mr. Burnham was introduced as a young boy to antiquing by his grandmother, Mary Smith. He and his wife would often explore antique malls and flea markets they came across.

“He was curious about things and liked to look through old memorabilia remarking it was like being in a museum,” his wife said.

He also enjoyed music, and in high school, he started the band Amputee Set with his friends.

"Pretty crazy to think that four high school kids who didn't know how to play instruments went on to play close to 200 shows and 35 states and spawn 10 to 15 crucial Columbia bands," Justin Nardy, one of his band mates, said in an email.

Mr. Burnham enjoyed Cardinals baseball, Missouri football, tailgating in Lot X with his friends and the backyard barbecues at his sister and brother-in-law’s house.

He played softball for more than 10 years, relishing warm summer evenings at Rainbow Softball Center with his lifelong friends. He was the designated catcher.

Mr. Burnham is survived by his wife Emily Bach; his father, Bill Burnham, of Columbia; sisters, Emily Burnham, of Columbia and Katie Burnham Wilkins, and her husband, Marcus, of Columbia; a brother, Spencer Burnham, of Denver; and his grandmother Mary Smith, of Columbia.

His mother Helen Smith Burnham, grandfather J. Ned Smith, and grandparents Frank and Estelle Burnham died earlier.

A private burial will be held at the New Liberty Cemetery in Ashland. A ceremony honoring his life will be held later at the family home.

Memorials may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.