Former Georgia Poultry Federation president dies

Raymond Headley Burch Jr., 89, of Gainesville, Georgia, died Thursday, June 28, 2018.

Raymond Headley Burch Jr., 89, of Gainesville, Georgia, died Thursday, June 28, 2018.

Burch was born on February 25, 1929, in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He was the only child of Catharine Wagner and Raymond H. Burch Sr.

He attended University High School in Lexington, Kentucky, where he played varsity basketball, performed in Glee Club and was on yearbook staff. He graduated from University of Kentucky in 1951, and was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity.

On December 27, 1952, Burch married Madge Hunter Farra and they moved to Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands, in January 1953 where Ray reported for duty as Second Lieutenant of the U.S. Air Force.

After Burch finished his five-year tour with the U.S. Air Force, he started work with Ralston Purina in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1955, and then accepted a transfer to Gainesville, Georgia, in 1957. He 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. CWT won the National “E” for Excellence in Export and the “E Star” award, for its international export of poultry hatching eggs.

Over the years, the operation included approximately 120 production farms and CWT exported to more than 40 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Burch was president of CWT for over three decades, and then became Chairman of the Board.

Burch 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. He also served as the chairman for the Hall County Development Authority from 1983-86. As Chattahoochee Country Club president in 1984, Burch was instrumental in the construction of the current CCC facilities. He was also active in Jaycees and the Kiwanis Club, the latter of which he was director.

Memorial service will be held at Gainesville First United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Gainesville First United Methodist Church & The In-Patient Medical Rehab Unit at NGMC.

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