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A life remembered: former GSL member Dick Burwash

November 12, 2012

It is with great sadness we report the passing of former GSL member Richard “Dick” Burwash.

He passed away at Carle hospital Saturday morning.

Burwash, a life-long farmer in the area that is today Savoy, was a big supporter of gun rights.

He also recently participated in the Honor Flight for World War II vets from Willard Airport last month.

Godspeed, Mr. Burwash.

Richard Burwash upon his return from Washington D.C. as part of the Honor Flight program.

 

From the News-Gazette:

Life Remembered: Dick Burwash ‘a generous gentleman’

SAVOY — A man whose name is practically synonymous with Savoy is being remembered as generous, humorous and humble.

Richard “Dick” Burwash, who lived at the Windsor of Savoy, died Saturday morning at Carle Foundation Hospital after having only recently been diagnosed with cancer. He was 94.

Word of his death hit hard Saturday evening at the Savoy United Methodist Church, where members were hosting their annual chicken and noodle supper. Mr. Burwash donated the land on the north side of Old Church Road, west of Duncan Road, where the church is located. Mr. Burwash was a lifelong member of the congregation, according to Pastor Jim McClarey.

“He was a great man and we’re going to miss him terribly,” said McClarey.

A lifelong farmer, it was Mr. Burwash’s father who sold family farmland to real estate syndicator and developer David Eades of Savoy to make way for the Savoy Plaza that features the Savoy 16 Theater, the Schnucks store and several other retail establishments.

“He is who I call my neighbor forever,” said Donald Maxwell, 77, a resident of the Lake Park subdivision in unincorporated Champaign, where Mr. Burwash lived before moving to the Windsor.

The Maxwell and Burwash families had farms near each other when the men were boys. Both carried on their family’s farming tradition. Maxwell continues to farm in the Tolono area.

“He was just a real square guy,” said Maxwell. “He was a generous gentleman. He worked with the Farm Bureau off and on.”

The 1973 News-Gazette Farm Leader of the Year was on the Champaign County Farm Bureau’s legislative committee in the early 1970s and made trips to the nation’s capital to educate congressmen about the needs of farmers. He also worked on developing the first Champaign County zoning ordinance around 1974.

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