Glen R. Burchby, 88
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Glen R. Burchby, 88, of West Lafayette, formerly of Newton County, Iroquois County, Ill., and Sevier County, Tenn., passed away at his home on Wednesday, November 28, 2012.
Born June 21, 1924, in Warsaw, Ind., he was preceded in death by his parents Edwin and Eula (Brown) Burchby and his infant sister Gladys Louise.
Glen's 64-year marriage to the love of his life, Louise (Diesslin) Burchby, began on August 29, 1948, in LaPorte, and she survives. Also surviving are his son, Dale Burchby (Virginia) of San Diego, Calif., three daughters, Kathleen Burchby (Dennis Christiansen) of Milwaukee, WI, Marcia Burchby (George Wood) of Amesville, Ohio, and Rita Goerz (Thomas) of West Lafayette, and two sisters, Joyce Diesslin and Carol Wollert. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Melanie, Kevin, and Valerie Burchby, Elizabeth Christiansen, Michael and John Wood, and Scott Fix.
Glen grew up on a farm near Burket, graduated from high school at the age of 17, and joined the Army in March, 1943. He served in the Army for three years, and saw combat in the European theater during WWII. While in combat he was a sniper with the 7th Armored Division. During the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944, he was taken prisoner by the Germans and was held as a POW until the end of the war in Europe.
He was the recipient of four Battle Stars, three Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantry Award, and the Bronze Star. He remained dedicated to serving the country and to preserving the history of the country's combat veterans. He was a former commander of the Smoky Mountain Chapter of Ex-POWs, and a member of the DAV, American Legion, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He volunteered as a docent at the POW Museum, Andersonville, Ga., and as a frequent visitor to the residents of the Indiana Veteran's Home in West Lafayette.
Following his return from overseas, Glen met and married Louise, and followed her to Purdue University, where he attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture under the GI Bill. Upon graduation in 1950, he taught Agriculture in high school and to returning veterans.
In 1952 Glen and Louise began a career as full-time dairy farmers. They raised their four children on the farm, instilling the value of hard work by constant example, but also making time for homemade ice cream, horseback riding, shooting, card games, inquisitive conversation, plus a wide range of life lessons, from history to hay bale stacking.
After 30 years of farming, they began a new chapter of their lives in Kodak, Tenn. Glen worked for the Sevier County school system as a school bus driver and courier. He and Louise filled the 29 years in Tenn. hosting friends and family and traveling extensively. Every day was an opportunity for exploration, adventure, and education. Glen's warm personality and genuine curiosity made every stranger a friend.
In 2009 Glen and Louise returned to their Hoosier roots, settling in West Lafayette. He continued with volunteer work and became a member of St. Andrew United Methodist Church. He continued his voracious reading, especially history.
Glen will be greatly missed by the many whose lives he touched, as a loving husband and father, engaged grandfather, devoted church member, active veteran, and good neighbor. His charm, optimism, and generous nature continued to draw people to him to his last day, including the devoted caregivers at IU Health Arnett Hospital and IU Health Hospice.
Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, West Lafayette, with funeral service following at 5 p.m., Reverend Tim Burchill officiating. Burial will take place on Monday at Pine Lake Cemetery in LaPorte, at 11 a.m. CST. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Glen's memory to Heifer International, 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, AK 72202.
Share memories and condolences online at www.hippensteelfuneralservice.com.
Published in the Journal & Courier from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2012