KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Richard W. Burow, 74, of Kingsport, Tenn., died on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, at Bristol Hospice House following a short battle with liver cancer.
Richard was born and raised in Danville, Ill., and moved south to finish his education and live his adult life. An Illinois farm boy at heart, he managed the family farmland in Illinois after retiring from Eastman. Richard, or commonly “Dick,” started his education at Illinois Wesleyan University after earning the Frank Gannett newspaper boy scholarship. The scholarship was timely, as he had eaten most of the profits from his paper route. His route ended at The Custard Cup, famous for their lemon custard ice cream.
After graduation from Illinois Wesleyan, he went on to finish a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Duke University. Richard met Suzanne at Duke and the two moved to Kingsport in 1966. He started work for Eastman Chemical Company as a mechanical engineer, a job he held until retirement in 1999. A member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he served as a section, region and national officer and received the ASME Centennial Award in 1980 and the Dedicated Service Award.
A member of the Boy Scouts of America for over 50 years, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 19 of Danville. He went to Philmont, the 1953 National Scout Jamboree and was a patrol leader at the 50th anniversary of scouting world jamboree in England in 1957. He returned to England for the 100th scouting anniversary held at the same site. A scout leader in Kingsport since 1969, he served as Troop 255 Scoutmaster for 17 years. He helped 50 scouts attain the rank of Eagle Scout. He was honored by Scouting with the Scouter’s Key, Silver Beaver, James West Society and National Heritage Society awards.
An active member of the Masonic Fraternity, he was a 50-year member of Olive Branch Lodge 38 in Danville and Kingsport Lodge 688. He was a Past Master of Kingsport Lodge and District 23 chairman for the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. He was a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason in Danville and Knoxville, a York Rite Mason and Past Grand Governor of the York Rite College in Tennessee. In Knoxville, he attained the Scottish Rite rank of KCCH. Richard received the York Rite Order of the Purple Cross. He was the secretary of the York Rite College in East Tennessee. Richard was the past presiding officer and secretary of the York Rite Bodies in Kingsport and a member of numerous other appendent Masonic organizations.
An avid hiker, Richard was a trail maintainer. He was always curious to know if there were any “blow downs” — trees across the trail. He would don a special backpack with his chain saw and hike in to cut up the blow down and clear the trail.
Richard was an active volunteer at the Exchange Place, preparing activities for Farmfest and helping maintain the land and buildings.
Too tall for military service, he loved the two days he spent with his son and the crew of the submarine USS Portsmouth under way off the California coast. He was proud to be a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Richard will be fondly remembered for his avid support of Duke University basketball and Dalmatian dogs. His favorite Dalmatian over the years was his beloved Duke.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Suzanne; sons Craig and David; and grandsons Nathan and Jackson.
Visitation services will be from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport. A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Friday at Preston Hills Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow in East Lawn Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Terry Plemons, PGC, James Hafner, PGC, Von Lewis, PGC, Don Clayman, PGC, Bill Trivet, PGC, Randy Carrier, PGC, Glenn Beck, PGC and Chuck Thames, REGC. Honorary pallbearers will be E. LeRoy Doty, PGC and L. Bruce Austin, PGM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Boy Scouts of America, 129 Boone Ridge Drive, Johnson City, TN 37615, Cryptic Mason Medical Research, P.O. Box 1489, Nashville, IN 47448-1489, or to Preston Hill Presbyterian Church, 4701 Orebank Rd., Kingsport, TN 37664.
Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the family. Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport, is serving the family of Richard W. Burow.