SALEM, Virginia


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BURROW, Captain John Wesley, 100, of Salem, Va., passed away on Friday, March 29, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Almyra Beazley Burrow. He is survived by his sons and daughters-in-law, Frank and Lynn Burrow of Signal Mountain, Tenn., and Richard and Janet Burrow of Roanoke. Capt. Burrow is also survived by nine grandchildren; 10 great-granddaughters; his sisters, Katherine B. Munt Tompkins, Helen B. Adams, and Ruth B. Figg; brother-in-law, Kenneth Figg; sister-in-law, Lillian Burrow; a number of nieces and nephews; and his devoted family friend, Mattie Mann. John Burrow was born on March 5, 1913, the son of Joseph Henry and Ladye Pierce Warren Burrow. He spent his childhood near Burrowsville in Prince George County, Va., where he grew up on a farm in a family of 11 children, five girls and six boys. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by seven brothers and sisters, Aubrey Burrow, Joseph Burrow Jr., Waverly Burrow, Billy Burrow, Dick Burrow, Jennie Mae B. Hedgepeth, and Sue B. Hohman. After enlisting in the Navy in 1942, he served in World War II for three years, two as Chief Warrant Officer aboard the USS Alpine, an amphibious ship in the Pacific Theatre of Operation. He was the recipient of six Bronze Stars, the WWII Victory Award, and a Navy Unit Commendation Award. After the war, he returned to his former position as Trooper with the Virginia State Police. Throughout the following years, he moved through the ranks with assignments in eight Virginia communities. In 1961, Capt. Burrow became the first Commander of the Sixth Division when it was established in Salem. He remained there as Division Commander until his retirement in 1973 with 34 years of service. He was an active member of First United Methodist Church in Salem for 51 years and was a member and past president of the Salem Kiwanis Club. In 2010, the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution commending Capt. Burrow for his outstanding service to the citizens of the Commonwealth, an "expression of the admiration, respect, and gratitude of the General Assembly." In 2013, on the occasion of his 100th birthday, the City of Salem issued a Proclamation in his honor and he received a Plaque of Recognition from the VSP Alumni Association. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home, Salem, Va. Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday, April 4 at 2 p.m. in the funeral home's chapel. There will also be a period of visitation on Saturday, April 6 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Newville United Methodist Church in Disputanta, Va. A graveside service will then follow at 11 a.m. in the Burrow Family Cemetery adjacent to the church. The Virginia State Police will provide an Honor Guard for the services. Memorial gifts may be given to First United Methodist Church at 125 W. Main St., Salem, Va. 24153, to the Newville United Methodist Church, 9014 Hines Rd., Disputanta, Va. 23842, or to the charity of your choice. The family would like to thank the caring staff of Brandon Oaks Rehabilitation Center, as well as many friends and family members who supported John, especially during his 99th and 100th years. An online guestbook is available at The Burrow family is being served by John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home, Salem, Va., 540-389-5441.

This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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Uncle John will always hold a special place in my heart as well as anyone who knew him. He was a man of great faith, integrity, leadership, bravery, courage, and a huge loving heart. Family and friends will miss him as he finds everlasting peace with our Lord.

The Thompsons, Sandra, Tom, Kent and Patti

Uncle John holds a special place in the hearts of family and friends as he now has an eternal place in heaven. Memories of times spent together will carry us through our grief and light our days ahead. We will miss you.