He was born January 4, 1930 in Monroe, Michigan, and was the son of William Martin Burchfield and Vietta Cooper Burchfield, who both preceded him in death
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by the love of his life and his wife of 50 years, Dorothy Ellen Norton Burchfield; and by his sister, Rhoda Elizabeth Burchfield Hill.
A man of great faith, a strong work ethic and wide-ranging talents, he enjoyed a productive association with the Middlesboro Daily News, where he was a long time publisher, and where he retired from the newspaper business in 1992 after nearly 40 years of outstanding service. 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, was a member and former president of the Middlesboro Chamber of Commerce, served as president of the local Rotary Club, was elected magistrate of the Bell County Fiscal Court, and had served as a precinct election official since the 1950s. He also served on the Middlesboro local advisory board as well as serving as a corporate trustee of Appalachian Regional Hospitals.
His church life was very important to him. He served West Cumberland Avenue Baptist Church as its first deacon, and served in that capacity from the church’s founding. 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.
The Kentucky House of Representatives by proclamation dated March 24, 2006 stated, “Whereas, the strength of our communities depends, and in great measure, on citizens who are willing to give of those personal offerings that will make a positive difference in the lives of others, the entire membership of this honorable body is delighted to join Representative Rick Nelson in affording ardent praise to Earl Burchfield and in extending sincere expressions of gratitude for his many and generous deeds on behalf of the common good.”
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of seven years, Frances Hill Garland Burchfield; his two sons, William Earl Burchfield (Sharon), and Larry Joseph Burchfield; his four grandchildren, William Earl Burchfield II (Kari), Brooke Ellen Burchfield, Rachel Elizabeth Burchfield, and Ryan Eric Burchfield; and his great-granddaughter, Ashton Brooke Burchfield. He is also survived by his brother Roy Burchfield (Anne;) and his sister Loris Jean Burchfield Thacker (Charles). Other survivors include Frances’ children, David Garland (Diane), Tim Garland, Sondra King (Denver), and Jessica Garland. He also leaves behind a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral service will be 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 23, at Shumate Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. David Bullock and the Rev. Danny Robbins officiating. Music will be provided by Janice Smith and Jessica Garland.
Graveside service will be 11 a.m., Thursday, May 24, at the Green Hills Memorial Gardens.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at Shumate Funeral Home Chapel.
Shumate Funeral Home is entrusted with all arrangements.
Guestbook at www.shumatefuneralhome.com