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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Judy Burchett would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was fairly reserved and never really let things bother her with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Judy was deeply devoted to her family, and there was nothing she treasured more than being surrounded by their love. Life wasn’t without times of trial for her, but she faced whatever came her way with strength and courage that were so inspiring. Life will never be the same without Judy here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII covered much of Europe. Countless young men and women had answered the call to serve, and those who remained stateside became all too familiar with rationing on common goods. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Robert and Alene (Knowlton) England as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as January dawned in the small town of Plainwell, Michigan, in 1945. Their wait was over on January 9th when the baby girl they named Judy D. drew her first breath. She was the youngest of three as she was raised in the family home on Gun Lake alongside her sisters, Joan and Connie.
In many ways Judy was a young girl of her generation. Her father was a supervisor at Flex Fab in Hastings while her mother was a homemaker. Judy attended local schools including Delton High School where she was in the baton club. After graduating from high school in 1963, she spent a brief time working.
Not to be forgotten during Judy’s years as a young woman was her blossoming romance with the young man of her dreams. His name was Gerald “Jerry” Burchett, and they were set up on a blind date. As the story goes, Judy thought Jerry was so cute, and the rest is history. That date led to more dates, and it didn’t take the couple long to fall deeply in love. With the desire to spend the rest of their lives together Judy and Jerry were married on July 3, 1964. Together they welcomed three sons including John, Jeffery, and James into their hearts and home.
There was nothing Judy loved more than being with her family. They made countless priceless memories on their many vacations, and they also had a cabin up North. True outdoor lovers, they often camped and fished together, and they also rode motorcycles and dune buggies. Active in the lives of her children, Judy helped with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. On March 9, 1998, she was deeply saddened with the death of her husband.
Although she loved nothing more than caring for her family, Judy also kept busy with other things she enjoyed. She spent four years running a store at Gun Lake, Steamboat Shop and Gift Shop, with her sisters. Judy also worked in women’s fashions at the Kmart in Plainwell from 1993 until it closed in 2002. At that point Judy retired, which worked out great since she had more time for doing what she loved. She continued to spend time fishing, and for years she and her sister, Connie, loved going to Florida together during the winter. Judy loved being a grandmother, and she loved having her grandchildren over on a regular basis. She had a great relationship with her daughters-in-law and was so close to them all. Judy was a great cook and especially loved going all out when fixing the holiday meals. She also looked forward to her Fourth of July family reunions. To relax, Judy enjoyed arts and crafts, sewing, and caring for the plants in her yard and garden. She also enjoyed feeding the squirrels. When it came to music, she liked country.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Judy Burchett was a blessing in the lives of so many others. She was very tolerant, especially with sons and grandsons to deal with, and she took whatever came her way in stride no matter what came her way. Judy had a great sense of humor and a love for life that was easy to see. A loving sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, Judy will never be forgotten.
Judy Burchett, of Gun Lake, passed away on January 16, 2019. Judy’s family includes her children: John (Lisa) Burchett, Jeff (Bethany) Burchett, and James (Jessica) Burchett; 8 grandchildren; her sister, Connie (Daryl) Foreman; and a brother-in-law, Robert VanderWeg as well as several nieces and nephews. Judy was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 34 years, Jerry; and her sister Joan VanderWeg. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Sunday, January 20 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the McCowen & Secord Funeral Home Marshall & Gren Chapel; 120 S. Woodhams St. Plainwell, MI 49080. A funeral service will be held on Monday, January 21 at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Please visit Judy’s memory page at www.mccowensecord.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.