Cover photo for Ryan "Odie" Burdolski's Obituary
Ryan "Odie" Burdolski Profile Photo

Ryan "Odie" Burdolski

November 20, 1979 — May 27, 2024

Ryan “Odie” John Burdolski was born in Merriam, Kansas on November 20, 1979, to John and Candy Burdolski (Dagg). Born with a neurological spinal defect, doctors feared that he would never walk and would spend his life bound to a wheelchair. Defying all odds, he hit all developmental milestones and his doctor stated once to his parents, “if you are lucky enough in this life, sometimes you’ll get to experience a miracle”. Odie was just that, a true miracle, a concept of which he often reminded his family and friends, and on occasion would use as an excuse not to do the dishes.

Odie grew up in Shawnee, Kansas in a close-knit family with his three siblings: Amber, Dusty and Ashley. He was a protective older brother who was fiercely loyal and unwaveringly supportive. Whether it was offering a listening ear, or standing up for his siblings when they needed it the most, his presence was a constant source of comfort and strength. As a child, he attended Blue Jacket Elementary School and Trail Ridge Middle School and graduated in 1998 from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.

Even from a young age, he loved all things sports. As a toddler, he would shoot hoops for hours on end on his Little Tikes basketball goal with his favorite person, his dad. Often, his dad would tell him to “shoot it like Otis”, referring to the Kansas City Kings basketball player, Otis Birdsong. This was the start of the nickname Otis, that eventually progressed into Odie, and remained for the rest of his life. He continued to pursue his love for sports through his youth, and eventually fell in love with the sport of baseball. Throughout his life he played on various teams, including NCS, the North Siders, and Shawnee Mission Northwest. Eventually, he went on to play in college at Allen County Community College in Iola, Kansas.

Odie was an amazing pitcher, baseball player and teammate and, at one point, led the nation in pitching appearances. One of his greatest achievements as a player was pitching against Seward County in the Kansas Jayhawk Community Conference Division Title game. It was the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, and he struck out the nation’s leading hitter to win the game and advance his team to the JUCO World Series. It was that game, and his exemplary performance, that landed Odie a spot in the Allen County Community College Hall of Fame, an achievement that he was infinitely proud of.

After college, Odie chose to work with his father at Classic Collision Center in Kansas City, Kansas. His younger brother Dusty soon joined, and he got to see and joke with his dad and Brother daily, including antics aimed at scaring their mother on Friday mornings when she would come to help with clerical duties. His job was truly a “family affair” and, although it wasn’t his passion, he valued that time with his family immensely.

Odie met his wife, Marisa Burdolski (Benskin) in May of 2013, and on February 6, 2016, they married in Kansas City, Missouri, in front of all of their family and friends. They were best friends, loved each other tremendously, and built a beautiful life. Throughout the course of their marriage, they welcomed three children: Bryn (7), Cannon (5) and Crew (3). It was quickly realized that being a father was Odie’s real calling and passion in life. There was nothing more important to him than his family, and he made sure he excelled in every role. His family idolized him. He was Cannon’s sidekick, Bryn’s safe place and Crew’s tickle monster. He was present every day for his family and was utterly himself with his wife and his children. As a family, they enjoyed spending their weekends at their lake house and riding on the water in their new boat. That was Odie’s ‘happy place’, his heaven on earth – being on the lake with his family.

Odie will be remembered for so many things. He was quick-witted and had a natural gift of humor. He was always ready with the most hilarious one-liners and comebacks, and he would come up with a nickname for almost every person he met. His laugh was infectious and contagious, and he was the most at peace when the people around him were happy and safe.

As a friend, Odie was the same fiercely loyal and protective soul, who always found a connection, and always had a story to tell. He was friendly to everyone he met and had an easy-going, laid back, carefree view of life. Throughout his life he established many deep friendships, and most of those friendships he truly viewed as his family. He was humble and cared so deeply for his friends, trusting them with his life, his happiness, and sometimes with the secrecy of his regretful youth-laden decisions. He looked forward to his yearly friend lake trips to Wisconsin, his fantasy football league parties and the yearly Halloween party, where he would try to out-do the previous year's costume.

Odie loved his family and his friends, but he also loved vacationing with his family, skiing in the mountains of Colorado, and spending time on the lake. He loved Mexican food, energy drinks from QuikTrip, music, and movies, often reciting quotes at-will from movies that he loved. We will always remember him for the amazing person that he was and cherish the memories of the time we were lucky enough to have him with us here on Earth.

Odie was preceded in death by his Grandfather, Frank Burdolski; Grandmother, Mary K. Burdolski; Grandfather, John Dagg; Father-in-Law, Orville Benskin; Uncle, Rob Murray; Uncle, Terry Burdolski; Cousin, Jeff Burdolski; and Cousin, Derrick Nadeau.

He is survived by his wife, Marisa Burdolski; Daughter, Bryn Burdolski; Son, Cannon Burdolski; Son, Crew Burdolski; Father, John Burdolski; Mother, Candy Burdolski; Mother-in-Law, Peggy Kultgen (John); Sister, Amber Holland (Chris); Brother, Dusty Burdolski (Brittany); Sister, Ashley Grosdidier (Brian); Brother-in-Law, Braden Benskin (Shaina); Sister-in-Law, Sarah Hale (Aaron); Brother-in-Law, John Kultgen (Ishwinder); Grandma, Shirley Dagg; along with countless nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, June 9, 2024, at The Farms at Woodend Springs, 14100 Woodend Rd. Bonner Springs, KS 66012. Visitation will be held from 1-3pm. Service will begin at 3pm. An informal gathering will be held after the service at the same location, and anyone wishing to stay to celebrate further are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, those who would like to help the family can visit the support registry by clicking here .  If you have any photos to share for the service or with the family please submit them here , and if you have any memories or stories you would be willing to share with the family please submit those here .


Burdolski Family Support Registry
Shawnee KS

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Service Schedule

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Sunday, June 9, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Add to Calendar

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


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