Rod was born in Long Beach, Calif., Feb. 5, 1956, to Vern and Naomi (Black) Burch, and joining 14 month-old brother, Mel. They lived in Anaheim, Calif., later joined by brother, Vince in 1959 and sister, Esther in 1960.
In 1961 the family moved to Longview, Wash., reuniting with much of their family in the area. Rod grew up on Coal Creek, being very much "at home" in the country, traipsing through the woods and creeks. His early days were a bit challenged when it became apparent that he was left-handed, which was more challenging in those days.
Since childhood, Rod showed a remarkable talent for art, especially interested in drawing wildlife. As an adult, he created incredible scrimshaw work on antlers. He also found enjoyment in playing the guitar, finding inspiration in George Harrison and several other musicians of the time. He served a couple years in the National Guard Reserves, serving locally (i.e., helping flood victims, etc.), his service being cut short by his asthma.
Work took him many different directions over the years. He began in the Carpenters Union on a rotational basis (temp), working as a millwright. One of his favorite jobs while doing this was working on the new Denver airport. While on the list, he landed a job with Alcoa which became full-time, working there until the company went out of business.
Rod decided to attend Lower Columbia College for some new training, ending in truck driving school. His career as a long-haul truck driver lasted several years. He enjoyed seeing the country and made numerous friends along the way. Sadly, he suffered a neck/back injury, and after several surgeries, was no longer able to drive the big rigs.
His greatest joy was becoming Josh’s father in 1981. He loved the time he spent with him and the memories they made together. They shared a love of fishing, going as often as able. Rod cherished time with his grandchildren, Travis (2000), Kylie (2003), and Olivia (2006).
He had a life-long love for cooking, enjoying when he could share a meal with others. Rod was also an experienced bow hunter, enjoying the extra challenge with much success. When he could no longer go himself, he was happy to reminisce with friends and share advice.
On June 25th Rod was admitted to the Hospice Care Center in Longview, after battling brain tumors for more than six years. In the early morning hours of June 29, 2022, he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Rod is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Josh and Skye Burch; his grandson, Travis Burch; his two granddaughters, Kylie and Olivia Burch; his companion of 24 years, Toni Peck; two brothers, Mel and Vince Burch; a sister and brother-in-law, Esther and Don Walters; a nephew and his spouse, Scott and Karen Walters; three nieces, Heleena McKenna, Crissy Walters, and Crystal (Justin) Holder; a great-niece; three great-nephews; two aunts; and numerous cousins.
Rod was preceded in death by his parents, Vern and Naomi Burch; and a great-nephew, Isaac James Holder (5 months).
Family and friends are welcome to attend a graveside service at 1 p.m. Monday, July 25th at Longview Memorial Park.
The family requests contributions in Rod’s memory be made to the Community Home Health & Hospice, P.O. Box 2067, Longview, WA 98632 or the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 3682, Seattle, WA 98124.
Final arrangements have been entrusted to Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park.