• 79°

Eugene Earl Burtch, 97

Eugene Earl Burtch, 97, of Austin, Minnesota, went to meet his Lord and Savior on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Eugene Earl Burtch, 97

Eugene was born on Aug. 6, 1922, near Ramsey, Minnesota, to Earl and Lillian (Paulson) Burtch. Eugene grew up near Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, and graduated from Blooming Prairie High School in 1939. He worked at Hormel Foods until entering the U.S. Army in 1942. He fought in the 104th Infantry Division (Timberwolves) through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. He earned the Bronze Star and Purple Heart in those campaigns. After a long rehabilitation, Eugene returned to Austin and worked for Hormel Foods until his retirement in 1985. He came to know Jesus at the age of 14 and was an active member of Grace Baptist Church, where he served in many capacities including youth ministries and the board of deacons. He was also a Boy Scout troop leader.

Survivors include a daughter, Cynthia (Terry) Hunst, Lakeville, Minnesota; sons, Keith (Linnea) Burtch, Austin, and Brian (Judy) Burtch, Holland, Michigan; nine grandchildren, Timothy (Sarah) Hunst, Owatonna, Minnesota, Melissa (Jeremy) Noble, Maple Grove, Minnesota, Meridee (Michael) Carreiro, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jenna (Chad) Nienhuis, Holland, Carly (Zach) Petroelje, Zeeland, Michigan, Grant (Carol) Burtch, Ballwin, Missouri, Kathryn (Kurt) Buchanan, Woodford, Virginia, Heather (Nathan) Dahle, Waseca, Minnesota, and Kristofer (Maria) Luiken, Point Pleasant, West Virginia; 23 great-grandchildren; one sister, Merle Harrington, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; one brother, Dale Burtch, Clarion, Iowa; and many other wonderful relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his bride of 77 years, Evelyn; and his parents, Earl and Lillian Burtch.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, at Grace Baptist Church in Austin. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church. Military rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 91 and VFW Post 1216. Interment will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, Minnesota. Memorials can be directed to the Grace Baptist AWANA Club. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.