Burt Brothers Founder Wendel Burt Has Died

May 3, 2023

Wendel Burt, one of two brothers who founded Burt Brothers Tire & Service in Bountiful, Utah, in 1991, died unexpectedly in California on April 26. He was 68.

Wendel and his brother Ron started Burt Brothers with a simple goal, which he had shared with Modern Tire Dealer in one of many interviews over the years: “Sell at least one tire every day. Fortunately, we met that goal with only a few misses.”

The Burts grew their single store in Bountiful into an operation that serves all of Utah but remains mostly concentrated around Salt Lake City and along the Wasatch Front. The company has 18 locations, and with the second generation of Burts now leading the business, plans to grow even more.

Wendel’s sons, Jake, Jeremy and Jason, took over as owners and general managers of the business in January 2019, alongside Ron’s sons, Cory and Brandon. Wendel and Ron remained on the company’s board of directors even after their retirement.

In an earlier interview, Jeremy Burt told MTD his dad had “stopped his college education and worked in an auto shop to support his young family.” (Jake, Jeremy and Jason also have a sister, Jenica.) “He discovered that he had a knack for working with both cars and people.”

Known as the gregarious one of the brother duo, Wendel was a natural with customers, and according to his obituary, that personality extended far beyond the business. He was active in his community and church, serving a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Rochester, N.Y., after high school, and later as a bishop and youth leader. With his wife Kerry, he loved to travel and host family and friends at home.

A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on May 6 at the Sandy Utah Granite Stake Center. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on May 5 and again from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on May 6.

A celebration of life will be held at Wendel and Kerry Burt’s home from 4-7 p.m. on May 7. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on May 8 at St. George Tonaquint Cemetery in St. George, Utah.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Wendel K. Burt to Make-A-Wish Utah, or Conserve Southwest Utah.

About the Author

Joy Kopcha | Managing Editor

After more than a dozen years working as a newspaper reporter in Kansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, Joy Kopcha joined Modern Tire Dealer as senior editor in 2014. She has covered murder trials, a prison riot and more city council, county commission, and school board meetings than she cares to remember.