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Mark Burchett - July 19, 2010

Mack Ell Burchett, 95, was born Sept. 1, 1914 in rural Yuma County to Claud and Grace (Fair) Burchett. He died July 19, 2010 in Holyoke.

He grew up a country boy, living on his parents’ homestead which was located 17 miles south of Holyoke. He attended Hillsdale School in the country until his parents moved to Holyoke in 1925. Although times were difficult for the family following the loss of the homestead, Mack continued his education in Holyoke and graduated in 1934.

He was always proud that he was a member of the state-qualifying football squad his junior year. While in high school, he took up boxing, and following graduation he went into the Golden Gloves and continued to box for a period of time.

Soon after, he left Holyoke to attend business school in Chillicothe, Mo. but funds ran out before he could start his second year. In 1936, he moved to Pittsburg, Calif. and then to Los Angeles, Calif.

While in California, he received word that his father was gravely ill and returned to Colorado, however Claud did not live long and passed away in April of 1937. Mack returned to Holyoke and took over the gas station his father ran in order to help support his mother and five siblings still living in Holyoke.

In 1939, he met Betty Kimsey of Baggs, Wyo. while she was attending beauty school in Denver. They were married on Feb. 25, 1940 in Holyoke, following her graduation. Betty and Mack lived mostly in Holyoke and had two sons: Roger K. Burchett and Dennis M. Burchett.

Mack served time in the Army from 1944 until after the war ended. During the war years, the family was living in Denver, but following his discharge the family moved to Holyoke, when Mack went to work for Sinclair Oil.

In 1952, Mack and Betty were divorced, and soon he married a local Holyoke lady, Martha (White) Broughton. They were married April 30, 1953 in Fort Morgan. Mack continued on with Sinclair Oil and Martha continued with her own cosmetology business, called Martha Jo’s Beauty Shop. At the time of their marriage, Martha’s two children, Joanne and James, joined the family.

In late 1961, Mack and Martha moved to Arvada. Mack was then selling New York Life Insurance. In 1975, they moved to Glenwood Springs. In 1980, Mack stopped selling insurance and became the Veterans Administrator for the county. He held this position until 1988, when he felt it best to retire back in Holyoke where he could better care for Martha, who now had Alzheimer’s.Martha died in March 1992.

As if life was not dealing out enough of life’s problems and tragedy, Mack lost a major portion of his sight around 1993, so the fun activities he enjoyed throughout his life like hunting, fishing, sports, driving and travel were now gone or severely restricted.

By 1996, Mack had become reacquainted with his former Holyoke high school girlfriend, Irene (Dirks) Jeffreys, who had also lost her spouse. On Nov. 16, 1996 Mack and Irene were married in the Christian Church in Holyoke.

Following the sale of his home in Holyoke, Mack relocated to Salinas, Calif. In 2000 he returned to Holyoke for a short period of time and in early 2001, he relocated to Greeley and moved into The Greeley Place, an independent living facility. Although his eyesight severely limited his daily activities, he kept up his sports interest and looked forward to his monthly trips to the casinos at Blackhawk. Due to health considerations, Mack moved back to Holyoke in March of 2009 to reside at Carriage House.

Mack was preceded in death by his parents, Claud and Grace Burchett; brothers, Doyle, Wilber and Marvin; sisters, Leona, Jeanette and Florence; and wives, Betty (Kimsey) and Martha (White/Broughton).

Mack is survived by his sons, Roger K. Burchett and wife Barbara of Golden and Dennis M. Burchett and wife Janeen of Greeley; step-son, Jim M. Broughton of Idaho Falls, Idaho; step-daughter, Joanne (Broughton) Holzer of Arvada; sister, Delores Sawyer of Holyoke; 15 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held July 20 at Holyoke Memorial Park with Pastor Lou Encinias officiating.

Baucke Funeral Home handled the arrangements.