In Loving Memory of Burton Backman: 1924-2022


Burton Boyd Backman, 98, passed away Nov. 29, 2022, in Olympia, Washington, his home of 60 years. He was born March 26, 1924, to Oscar and Clara Backman in Winlock, Washington. He also resided in Parkland and Rainier, Washington.  

Burton graduated from Winlock High School in 1942. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1948 and master’s degree from Portland State University in 1969.  He entered the U.S. Navy in February 1943, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He married Joan Jahlstrom on Oct. 7, 1944, in Winlock.  

Professionally, Burton was a school teacher, counselor and administrator. He taught grade school in Rainier (1950), was the school superintendent in Littlerock (1964-1967), a high school counselor in Tumwater (1967-1969), vice principal at Tumwater High School (1969- 1971), and principal at Michael T. Simmons Elementary and Peter G. Schmidt Elementary (1972-1982).  Burton was a hardworking man. He loved reading, watching all sports and swimming. He was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.  

He is survived by his daughter Sue Schmidt, of Palm Desert, California; sons Steve Backman (wife Erin Hinkle), of Tumwater, and Scott Backman (husband Don Kelly), of Longbranch, Washington; and one grandchild. He was preceded by his parents Oscar and Clara, wife Joan (July, 26, 1999), and son-in-law Frank Schmidt (June 11, 2022).  

Memorial donations may be made to Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd in Tumwater or a local food bank.  Please share memories at