Jeff Ray Burkey of Kalamazoo, MI passed away peacefully at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence surrounded by family on Saturday, November 25, 2017, at the age of 76. Jeff was born November 10, 1941 in Kalamazoo to the late Boyd and Theda (Finzer) Burkey. A graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School class of 1959, he later served in the U.S. Air Force as an airplane mechanic until honorably discharged in September 1966. Jeff was employed at the Upjohn Company for 30 years. In 1986 he received the W. E. Upjohn Award as acknowledgement by both his customers and area engineers for his performance as a pipefitter. Surviving Jeff are his wife, MerriKay Oleen-Burkey; his children, Joel (Deborah) Burkey and David (Julie) Burkey and their mother Sally (Michael) Pickens; 5 grandchildren, Cole, Raeann, Madeline, Joseph, and Samuel; brother, Kim (Leilani) Burkey; niece, Brett (Nicholas) Toman; godson, Jeff Anderson; and other relatives and friends. Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, and his in-laws, Stet and Jo Catton; and Walt and Virginia Oleen. A memorial service to commemorate Jeff's life will take place on Friday, December 1st at 2:30PM at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W. Milham Ave., Portage, MI 49024. Friends may meet the family one hour prior to the service at the church. Military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions in Jeff's memory may be made at this time to Ministry with Community, 500 North Edwards Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 or The Humane Society of the United States, Dept: Memorial Donations, 1255 23rd St. NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037. Please visit Jeff's personalized webpage for directions, online guestbook or to leave a condolence. Arrangements were made by the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th St.