Doug  Burnett
Doug Burnett

November 27, 1958 - October 27, 2021
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


Douglas Worth Burnett passed away on Wednesday, October 27, at home, after letting God take the reins on his hard-fought battle with cancer. Born on November 27, 1958 in Des Moines, the proud son of Robert A. and Gloria (Cowden) Burnett, Doug was the middle of five Burnett boys and their little sister and was famously known as the tallest of the pack at 6’10”.

While he grew up spending his childhood in Des Moines and New York City (as his father rose through the ranks of Meredith Corporation), Doug was a country kid at heart. Most comfortable in a pair of Carharts, driving a skid-loader, raising bees and finding the next big auction to attend, Doug loved the life he and Rochelle built enjoying their land near Runnells and building their dream getaway near Winterset. Friends and relatives alike know that no one could enjoy a float down the river or on the pond, build a roaring bonfire or engage in conversation better than Doug Burnett.

Doug married Susan Tharp in 1982 and she blessed him with two amazing children, Kristina and Matt. Both children share his passion for cooking and enjoying great food and his love of hiking and camping. Some of Doug’s favorite memories were made exploring the Boundary Waters with Matt and Kristina, his brothers, nephews, and author Bill Heavey who wrote about the experience in Field and Stream magazine. Kristina and Matt also blessed him with the gift of being Big Pop Pop to four perfect grandchildren.

Doug became a licensed Realtor in 1984 and quickly worked his way into a Broker/Manager role with First Realty Better Homes and Gardens. Doug enjoyed his work on the DMAAR board, in various capacities, and serving as President in 1995. He was proud to be named Salesperson of the year in 1991 and Realtor of the Year in 1995. Doug was always eager to lend a hand to those in need, from a new or veteran agent navigating a tough real estate deal, to spending significant time in New Orleans and Houston cleaning up from the devastation of hurricane flooding, Doug was all-in.

In 2000, Doug married the love of his life, Rochelle Jones. Both entrepreneurs and givers at heart, they took a leap of faith and followed Doug’s dream to open Burnett Realty in 1999. Doug always held a special spot in his heart for the group of agents, and most importantly friends, who came along for the ride with him. Oh, what fun they had on canoe trips, incentive trips, riding on RAGBRAI and throwing the annual Burnett Bash! In 2013 Burnett Realty merged with Keller Williams and that dream continues today as his wife, Rochelle, runs the Burnett Team at Keller Williams. Throughout their marriage, they fostered six kids, some staying a few weeks, others a few years.

Doug is survived by his loving wife, Rochelle; his children, Kristina (Chuck Hyde) and Matt (Wendy); his grandchildren, Sebastian, Ellie, Arlo and Nova; their bonus children, Andy Madison and Sara Grylls (Miles Latham); their equally perfect bonus grandchildren, Roman, Emily and Lilly; his brothers, Robert (Barbara), Steve (Kristie), Greg (Cindy) and David; his sister, Penelope; his much adored nieces and nephews, Robby, DG, Robert, Elizabeth, Emily, Crystal, Claire, Hana, and Jade Burnett and Johnny Jones; and his in-laws Paul and Dianna Jones.

A special thank you to Doug’s nephew, Dr. Robert Burnett, for his care and compassion during many trips to Chicago for cancer treatment; nurse and “big sister”, Deb Cosgrove for her friendship and skills at navigating cancer treatment and end-of-life care; family friend Dr. Tim Ihrig; Dr. Mouser and EveryStep Hospice; everyone at the Nagourney Institute and The Block Center; and last but not least, the Jones family, especially father-in-law, Paul, for serving as his partner-in-crime on the farm.

The family requests that you join them at one more Burnett Bash to celebrate the life of our fearless leader and wonderful friend. Service at 4 pm and a celebration of life will immediately follow until 7 pm, both to be held at Country Lane Lodge, 29300 Prospect Cir, Adel IA, on Sunday, November 21. Doug preferred jeans over suits, so casual attire is welcome.

In lieu of flowers, memorials should be directed to the Brenton Arboretum ( where Doug was honored to serve on the board and/or The Dream Team of Des Moines ( where Doug had served as mentor taking at-risk youth on RAGBRAI.




Funeral Home
Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312