Dr. Bobby Dee Burch (1926-2023) Walters, OK

January 20, 2023

Dr. Bobby Dee Burch, 96, died Monday, January 16, 2023. He was born April 29, 1926. Funeral will be 1 p.m. Saturday, January 21, 2023, at Walters First Baptist Church, with interment at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Lawton.

Bobby Dee was born to George Washington Burch and Mose Eller (Ledford) Burch in Comanche County, in the Denton community as the eighth child of 11.

He graduated from Central High School in 1944, and served with the Marine Corps, 3rd Division from 1944-1946, seeing World War II action in Guam, Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima, Wake Island, and Saipan.

He returned home to Lawton working for Fairmont Creamery before joining his brother Ned at Burch Machine Shop in downtown Lawton.

After 20 years working with his brother at the machine shop, Pastor Dan Pruitt witnessed to him, he became a Christian, joined Cameron Baptist Church, and soon after surrendered to the pastoral ministry.

He pastored his first church at Richards Spur Baptist north of Lawton for two years, Gatlin Baptist near Duncan for six years, Second Baptist Church, Okmulgee for 25 years where he retired and moved back to Southwest Oklahoma near Walters.

He missed preaching the gospel and after a short retirement pastored at Grandfield First Baptist Church for 10 years, then briefly for Corum Baptist Church in Comanche. During his ministry he preached over 10,000 sermons and performed hundreds of weddings and funerals.

He would joke stating he would rather bury than marry, as at least they would stay buried. He always cared for people, preaching at nursing homes, visiting the sick and elderly, greeting people as they entered the church, and going wherever God willed. He was privileged to witness in the Philippines, establish a satellite church at Nuyaka, Oklahoma, and has led numerous souls to the Lord. He earned his doctorate degrees in theology from Oklahoma Missionary Baptist Institute and Southern Seminary.

Bob never wanted to boast or receive credit as his own doing, but to give all praise and credit to the Lord.

In 1950, he met and married his loving wife Roberta (Faries) Burch and they had three daughters: Dorothy Susan (Burch) Denard of Duncan, Kathy Dee (Burch) Black of Duncan, and Penny Louise (Burch) Ritter of Vian, OK.

They celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in October 2022. Bob was involved in his children’s activities, attending most of their sporting events, plays, and school activities. He had a built-in GPS to find any gymnasium in an unfamiliar town.

He loved to fish, grow vegetables in a large garden, and tinker with mechanical equipment. Before his pastoral ministry he enjoyed building engines and competed at local drag races. You would often see him behind the camera videotaping family reunions, church events, and fun times at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly. He enjoyed playing Skip-Bo, Hand & Foot, Pinochle card games, and dominoes with family and friends.

In his later years he enjoyed excellent health, picking and shelling pecans from his property, working in his garden, and taking care of his pond. He enjoyed attending Sunday School and greeting people to hand them a bulletin as they attended Walters First Baptist where he was a member.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Roberta, his three daughters Susan Denard and spouse Robert, Kathy Black, Penny Ritter and spouse Jerry, two grandchildren Candace Jones and spouse Nicholas, Connie Ritter, and three great-grandchildren: Lauren Jones, Andrew Jones, Carly Jones of Tahlequah, Okla., and his only remaining sibling Leonard Don Burch and spouse Marie of Lawton.

Bobby is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Ned Burch, Fred Burch, Roy Burch, James Ivan Burch, Jessie Dewey Burch, and sisters Ruby Welborn, Hazel Dunbar, Oweida Smiley, and Edna Morrow.

The family extends many sincere thanks to the friends, family, and Centric Hospice staff for their support.