Obituary: David Burch

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David Earl Burch, 93, died peacefully on Nov. 10 in his home in Danville, surrounded by his family. He was a devoted and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be greatly missed by those who loved and knew him.

Mr. Burch was born Nov. 9, 1918, in Henderson, Ky. He was preceded in death by his wife, Leah Johnson Burch, a past president of Kentucky Chapter 32 Telephone Pioneers.

Mr. Burch served in the United States Air Force in World War II. He was a 50-year Mason, belonging to the Blue Lodge in Henderson, Chapter and Commandery in Frankfort, and Oleika Shrine Temple in Lexington. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Danville, where he had served as Sunday School superintendent and a Senior Men’s Bible Class teacher.

He was active in Boy Scouts of America, serving as chairman of the Wilderness Trail District, and as board member of the Bluegrass Council in Lexington, where he was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award. He was also active in community development work, being a member of the Southeast Community Development Association, made up of 18 states.  

In 1968-1969, Mr. Burch was a key representative in Danville, being named an All-American City by the National Municipal League. He served as public relations manager for the East Division of BellSouth, which included Frankfort, Danville and Winchester districts. He also served as division commercial representative for office reviews and audits. He finished his telephone company career as public relations manager in Owensboro, where he again served his community as publicity chairman of United Way, and as state chairman of the All-Kentucky City program, sponsored by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

During his long career in community and industrial work, he received Kentucky Colonel Commissions from Republican Governor Louie B. Nunn and Democratic Governor John Y. Brown. Mr. and Mrs. Burch retired from the telephone company in 1983, making their home in Danville, Ky.

Survivors include a daughter, Susan Burch Shearer (Larry) of Richmond; three grandchildren, John David Shearer (Cindy) of Clarksville, Ind., Jeffrey Wayne Shearer (Thea) of Richmond, and Leah Kathryn Shearer of Louisville; three great-grandchildren, Liliana, William and Caroline; special nephews, John Ligon of Tehachapi, Calif., and John Ligon, Jr., of Evansville, Ind.

Visitation and services will be held 4-7 p.m. Saturday at Stith Funeral Home in Danville, with Masonic rites performed at 7 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 7:30 p.m. The Rev. Dr. Quentin Scholtz will officiate.  

Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery in Henderson, Ky.

Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Scott, Johnny Chitwood, Dan Stewart and Gentry Akin.  

The online guestbook is available at

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