2013-01-24 / Obituaries


Jennings Michael Burch of Brewster, New York, died on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at the Putnam Hospital Center. He was 71.

Mr. Burch was born on April 27, 1941, in Manhattan. He was the son of the late Francis and Rita (Hogan) Burch. Chappaqua, NY, was his home for 20 years before moving to Brewster in 1998.

Mr. Burch married Susan Elmer on August 24, 1985, in Mount Kisco, NY. He is survived by his loving wife, son Jeremy Walter Michael Burch, a daughter Kelly Burch Pickow (Ward) and two grandchildren Matthew and Ashley. He was predeceased by his parents and his siblings Joseph, James, John, Jerome, Gene and Maryanne.

Mr. Burch worked as a theater manager for a number of years. He was a New York City Officer for 10 years. He took a leave of absence from the force to join Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” in 1975. In 1984, he wrote his autobiography They Cage the Animals at Night. The book chronicled his growing up in numerous orphanages and foster homes. He frequently spoke across the United States and Canada sharing his inspiring life story with students, and was a regular visitor to Putnam schools.

Mr. Burch wrote poetry and lyrics. He was a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). He was also a devoted Yankee fan and cared deeply for all animals. He was especially proud to be an American and expressed a deep love of country.

A vigil service was held Friday, January 18, 2013, at Beecher Funeral Home located at 1 Putnam Avenue, Brewster, during the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. Interment was private.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Putnam Humane Society, 68 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512 or at www.puthumane.org.

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