Richard L.. “Rick” Burchfield, 79, longtime fire chief at Cornplanter Twp., died at 8:20 P.M. Monday Dec. 21, 2020 at UPMC-Northwest on Seneca.
Born Christmas Day 1940 in Oil City, PA., he was the son of the late Bert & Dora Wise Burchfield, Bert was a founder of the Cornplanter Vol. Fire Dept and Dora was head of the ladies auxiliary.
Rick was a member of the Cornplanter Fire Hall as soon as he was old enough, and spent his childhood at the fire hall.
He grew up on Rockwood Ave., so it was a quick sprint to the hall when the siren rang. Rick had to be pretty quick to catch a ride with his dad.
Rick carried on that tradition with his own kids and they knew if they didn't get there quick they would have to wait fort he next truck.
It became a family affair, and the Burchfield's have always been associated with Cornplanter Fire Dept. They are all life-time members now and very proud of it.
Rick was the only original charter member still living.
He was married to Donna D. Jones and she preceded him in death on Aug. 6, 2007.
Rick proudly supported his wife on becoming the first woman fire police in the state. His daughter followed her foot steps as times have changed and more women have become involved in active roles with the fire departments. Bert didn't agree with this, but Rick supported his wife and daughters decisions.
Rick along with Donna taught EMT at Venango Vo-Tech in the early 1980's for several years. At that time, a majority of the fire departments members ended up being certified too as they liked the teachers.
If you wanted to spend time with Rick and Donna, you had to go to the fire department. The kids said “We believe all of our time spent there instilled a great sense of community service and pride in our family and our fire department family as well.”
Rick served the fire department in so many capacities, over his time there. He joined when he was 12 years old. He was a firefighter, EMT, all officer ranks, chairman of the board, president of the Relief Association... all culminating in him being elected fire chief, a position he held for 27 years. He took the chief position over from his father Bert who had also been chief for many years.
Rick was always very determined and was instrumental in creating a Disaster Plan for Pennzoil refinery located in Cornplanter Twp., along with Dick Graff, Frank Riddle of the Oil City Fire Dept. and Pennzoil officials. That disaster plan was put to its biggest test during the Pennzoil fire. Rick still actively was involved with writing grants for the department and was a mentor to the young ones when needed.
He had worked at Universal Cyclops for 30 Years until it closed in 1993.
He retired for a year and went back to work for Klapec Trucking until ill health forced his retirement.
Rick was a Cornplanter Township supervisor for 6 years and was just elected for another 6 year term, where unfortunately his health forced him to retire.
He was also on Council of Goverment's for 2 years and a member of the Venango County Planning Commission.
He served on the Oil Region Sewage Authority as well.
If that wasn't enough, Rick served as an elder at the Hasson Heights Community Church for many years and was President of Shaw Farm Cemetery Association.
He is survived by a daughter Loni Beer &her husband Jerry of Oil City
Thomas Burchfield & his wife Lori of Oil City
Megan Dean, & Madison and Maryn Burchfield, Orion Burchfield, Ian Burchfield and Becca Buchfield
3 great grandchildren
Carley, Bentley and Lux
He is also survived by two brothers
Thomas Burchfield of LA
Glen Burchfield of oil City
Linda Pokora & her husband Tom of Greensboro, SC
Beckie Stubler & her husband Bob of Oil City.
He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a son
Richard L. Burchfield Jr.
There will be no services at this time. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
The Reinsel Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent at www.reinselfuneralhme.com
Memorials may be made to the Cornplanter Volunteer Fire Dept.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard L. Burchfield, please visit our floral store.