Roland Burch (Veteran)

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Mr. Roland Lee Burch, 85, of Jefferson City, departed this life for his eternal home on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Lee was born at Doe Run, on January 10, 1926, to Samuel and Stella Burch, who preceded him in death. Lee was the youngest of eight children and was preceded in death by all of his siblings, Chesley, Esther, Earl, Vernon, Velva, Russell, and Elmer. On October 6, 1944, he was joined in marriage to Evelyn McCutcheon Burch, who preceded him in death in January 2007. Mr. Burch served in the United States Army during World War II with the 71st Infantry Division. After landing in Le Havre, France on February 7, 1945, Lee marched a distance of 1060 miles across France through Germany and ended in Steyr, Austria 92 days later. His unit was engaged in combat most of the way. Lee was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant. While serving his country, he earned the Sharp Shooter Badge, the World War II Victory Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with two bronze stars, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Rhineland Central Europe Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, his Staff Sergeant Stripes, and the 9th Infantry Patch. In May of 2010, Lee earned his wings on the Central Missouri Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to view the World War II memorial, his first flight on a commercial airliner. Lee was a member of Concord Baptist Church where he attended regularly until his health declined. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 35 and the American Legion Roscoe Enloe Post 5. Over the years, Lee and Evelyn lived many places, including the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas before retiring to live near his daughter, Susan and the grandkids in Jefferson City. Family was important to Lee and he spent many hours caring for his grandchildren, attending many school and sporting events, and having the pleasure of watching them grow up into fine adults knowing that he had made a difference in their lives. After retirement, he and Evelyn also enjoyed winter trips to Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Lee was a master of many trades, working at several occupations during his lifetime. He worked in the open pit copper mines in Santa Rita, N.M. and the iron mines in Sullivan. An accomplished carpenter, Lee built 20 houses during his lifetime. While living in Kansas City, Lee and his wife owned and operated Roeland Auto Parts. He retired from Holiday Pools, where he built swimming pools. Lee was a master woodworker and enjoyed crafting wood products and furniture to give to family and friends. He also enjoyed gardening, watching the St. Louis Cardinals and stock car races. Left to cherish memories of dad and grandpa are Lee's daughter, Susan Burch Nelson and husband Bill of Jefferson City; grandchildren, Laurissa Nelson of Springfield, Billy Nelson and Kristina of Jefferson City, Gina Jamerson of Jefferson City; and one great- grandson, Caleb of Jefferson City. Lee is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. He will be sadly missed by his family. Mr. Burch was also preceded in death by one grandson, Brent Burch in 1983. Friends will be received from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday September 1, 2011, at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday September 2, 2011, at the Concord Baptist Church with the Rev. Monte Shinkle officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow in the Hawthorn Memorial Gardens. Expressions of sympathy may be made to Senior Nutrition Center or the Central Missouri Honor Flight. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 West Main Street, (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at

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