MIDDLESBORO — A former publisher of the Middlesboro Daily News passed away on Monday. Earl Burchfield died at the Middlesboro Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility. He was born on January 4, 1930, in Monroe, Michigan.
Burchfield was a long time publisher with the Daily News. Many individuals described him as having a strong work ethic. According to J.T. Hurst, a former Daily News publisher and longtime friend and co-worker, Burchfield started out in advertising with the Daily News and work his way all the way up to publisher.
“He was a hard worker,” said Hurst. “He was very efficient in doing his job.”
Hurst also stated that Burchfield was more than just a good boss, but he was also a good friend. Hurst worked under Burchfield as a production manager and an advertising manager. “He was a good boss,” said Hurst.
Burchfield and Hurst worked together from around 1958 until Burchfield retired. Hurst added that Burchfield moved on to work for the New York Times once he (Hurst) became publisher at the Daily News.
“I think the community lost a good man when Earl (Burchfield) passed away,” stated Hurst.
Another long time Daily News employee Pat Cheek also has fond memories of Burchfield. “He was a good man and I enjoyed working with him,” said Cheek.
Burchfield was the person who hired Cheek a little of 30 years ago. Cheek added that Burchfield was a piece of history to the company for having worked with it during the early years.
Burchfield retired from the newspaper business in 1992 after nearly forty years in the industry.
Additionally, he was named a director of Home Federal Savings and Loan (Home Federal Bank) and served as a chairman of many committees during his banking career. Devoted to the community, he served as treasurer to the Middlesboro Downtown Merchants Association, and was a member and former president of the Middlesboro Chamber of Commerce.
He also served as president of the local Rotary Club,was elected as a magistrate with the Bell County Fiscal Court, and had served as a precinct election official since the 1950’s. Burchfield
Burchfield also served on the advisory board for Middlesboro ARH, as well as a corporate trustee of Appalachian Regional Hospitals.
His church life was very important to him. A charter member of West Cumberland Avenue Baptist Church, he served as its first deacon. He was a Sunday School teacher and led devotionals every Sunday at the Middlesboro Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility for over 15 years. As a Gideon, he spoke in many churches in Southeastern Kentucky.
Funeral services for Burchfield will be held at 8 p.m. tonight at Shumate Funeral Home Chapel, and visitation is from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the funeral home.
For complete obituary information see page 5.