USMC Vet, father, passed on Xmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, 2017, one of my longest and greatest friends, Stephen Burkland, passed away from a heart attack. He leaves behind a loving wife, 3 amazing children, and a wealth of friends who are better for knowing him. I have no idea how to do this, and I'm just asking for anyone who is able to help in any way they can. To try an summarize in a few paragraphs the amazingness that was, that IS Stephen Burkland, is impossible, as I feel there's no way I could ever do him justice. I met Stephen in 1998 while serving together in the Marines on Camp Pendleton, California. Turns out, we are both Texans and actually grew up pretty close to one another. Combine that with our love for jokes and sarcasm, and we became instant friends. Man, could this guy light up a room; he was force of nature, and those aroud him couldn't help but find themselves laughing or smiling at just him being him. He ALWAYS brought joy and levity to anyone in his presence. Fast forward to 2011 and Stephen is standing next to me as my best man at my wedding; once again, ready to deliver a speech to those in attendance that would have tears of laughter flowing throughout (mostly at my expense). To say that the world is worse-off with him gone is a severe understatement. To all of us in his life, he was they guy you always wanted around; he made every situation better, and was always ready to help anyone who needed it. I'm at a loss trying to imagine a life with him not in it, and I feel helpless as his family goes through this tragedy on Christmas day. Stephen served his country, loved his family, and left us far too soon. Anything you can do to help his loved ones is greatly appreciated. Semper Fi.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Christian Turbeville 
Charity Burkland 
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