Longtime Brenau University Trustee Raymond “Ray” Headley Burch, Jr., 89, of Gainesville, died Thursday, June 28.
A Kentucky native, Burch was the only child of Catharine Wagner and Raymond H. Burch, Sr. He graduated from University of Kentucky in 1951, and on Dec. 27, 1952, he married Madge Hunter Farra. The newlyweds moved to Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands, in January 1953, where Burch reported for duty as Second Lieutenant of the US Air Force. Following a five-year tour with the US Air Force, he worked with Ralston Purina in St. Louis, Missouri, and then accepted a transfer to Gainesville in 1957.
Ray made a move to business development and sales with Twin Oaks Hatchery in 1959. In 1961 he joined CWT Farms and was responsible for developing the export and international sales for that company. Burch would be president of CWT for more than three decades, eventually becoming chairman of the board.
He served on the Georgia Poultry Leaders Round Table starting in 1978, and was Georgia Poultry Federation president for 1966-67. He also served as state vice-president and director of South-Eastern Poultry and Egg Association for seven years.
Burch was selected to the Brenau University Board of Trustees in the late 1980s, until he recently retired and was named a trustee emeritus. He also served as the chairman for the Hall County Development Authority from 1983-86. As Chattahoochee Country Club president in 1984, Ray was instrumental in the construction of the current CCC facilities. Ray was also active in Jaycees and the Kiwanis Club, the latter of which he was director.
He was the patriarch of a large family, including his wife, four children, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, who were the source of his greatest happiness.
The Brenau community extends heartfelt condolences to all of Ray Burch’s family and friends. A memorial service will be held at Gainesville First United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. next Tuesday, July 10.