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One Monticello Life: Bill and Beverly Burchfield

January 16th, 2011 by

Bill and Beverly Burchfield are a well-known duo in Monticello. Both have devoted their lives to God, the church, and serving others. Many in the community have referred to them as a great choice for the next One Monticello Life due to how they touch other’s lives every day.

Bill Burchfield grew up in Halley, a small farming town. He lived on the farm his parents worked and said, “I knew all along I didn’t want to do that.” The long hours, hard work, and ample stress turned him away from farming as a profession.

Beverly Burchfield grew up in Pine Bluff and attended school in Watson Chapel. She was introduced to Bill by her uncle, and the two were married in Pine Bluff in 1968. Beverly said, “When we were dating the three things that attracted me to Bill were that he could play piano, he made me laugh, and he was active in his church. My parents dearly loved him.”

The Burchfields both began their professional careers working at Dermott High School. Beverly taught there for 7 years before leaving in 1977 to work at Potlatch. She retired from Potlatch in 2007. Bill taught at Dermott High School for 38 years before retiring in 2005.

Mr. Burchfield loved teaching his students. He said that he had many favorites, and he always strived to help them in any way he could. Bill has also been called a mentor by many of his fellow teachers that he helped along the way . His way of reaching youth is admired by many.

Bill also spent 12-15 years working at Stephenson/Dearman Funeral Home as the Assistant Funeral Director. He said, “I don’t like death, never have; but I like helping families with death.”

After working their entire adult lives, the Burchfields say that retirement has been a very welcome retreat. They keep busy, but enjoy the lack of a schedule that once tied them down.

Beverly said, “Since he’s retired he’s devoted himself to college guys – talking, texting, taking them to breakfast and lunch. He keeps up with their grades, their finances, and their family lives.

“I coordinate the Student Adoption Program out of our church for MBSF students. We have about 30 students right now.” – Bill Burchfield

The Burchfields are members of Pauline Baptist Church and are very active both inside and outside of the building. The Student Adoption Program’s purpose is to have church families “adopt” college students.

Bill said, “We want our church families to pay attention to the students, be available for them, feed them and things like that.”  Beverly joked, “That’s a big deal because college students are always starving!”

Beverly helps in the office at church, lends help to Bill with his ministries, and said, “I help wherever I’m needed.” Mr. Burchfield is a deacon and a Sunday School teacher. Both have a great love of playing the piano and organ.

Bill said, “We just got a Yamaha Grand built in Japan, which is my most favorite brand of piano. It was really a God thing… it just fell into our laps.”

When asked how they managed to enjoy retirement while others often find themselves bored, Bill said, “My life is so full now. I stay so busy! I have absolutely loved retirement.”

Beverly said, “I am so thankful that I was retired when my mother got sick. I got to help take care of her, be there for her, and I feel she got to die with a lot of dignity and respect because of that.” “My mother really influenced me to give. She was so poor growing up, but as soon as she had anything she gave it to someone in need… she gave all she could.”

Beverly also said, “We have one daughter, Jo Carol, and she has one daughter, Frankie Jo… Frankie is six and it is so nice to be able to run up to Little Rock to see her, pick her up, or take care of her if I’m needed. Frankie Jo is something else! She says she wants to be a firefighter.”

When not serving her church or spending time with family, Beverly loves to read. Her favorite types of books are autobiographies, self-help, and mysteries. She also spends a lot of time playing piano at home. She said, “Bill doesn’t… only at church.”

“She loves flea markets! If I didn’t declutter the house, we wouldn’t be able to walk through it,” – Mr. Burchfield

Most of Bill’s free time is spent with college students. “I feed on those college guys… they are nourishment for me.”

Beverly said that Bill cannot help but serve others. She gave this example; coming back from The Village after supper one night, we passed a man on the side of the road with his hood up. After a few miles Bill finally said, “Alright! Turn back around.. we have to go back!””

Beverly said this is common for him to do. If he sees someone’s need, he is driven to help them. Bill said that he feels convicted by God if he tries to go on and ignore someone’s need or hurt. God drives him to go back and help.

The Burchfields both keep very active, and Bill said a major motivator to him to do so was his diagnoses of diabetes last year. He said, “I keep active and it keeps it under control.” Beverly laughed and said, “I’ve exercised off and on our entire marriage… that’s how I keep these hips at 42 inches!”

As for what they see themselves doing in the coming years, Beverly said that she wants to be a hospital volunteer. “I already crochet hats for the newborns, but I think I could do more.” Bill said, “As long as I’m able and healthy enough to do it, I plan to keep doing what I’m doing. Keep playing piano and such. I don’t have any goals set in stone, I just want to enjoy my life.”

In closing Beverly said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Monticello. It’s convenient, it’s fun, and our best and closest friends are here.”

Monticello has thoroughly enjoyed having the Burchfields reside here, and MonticelloLive wants to take this opportunity to thank them for their lives of service.

Beverly’s Favorites
Food – Chocolate
TV – Good Morning America
Author – Mary Higgins Clark and John Grisham
Book – The Reluctant Entertainer
Music – Southern Gospel, Il Divo

Bill’s Favorites
Food – Fried Chicken and Desserts
TV – News, History Channel
Restaurant – Shorty Small’s and Larry’s Pizza
Music – Southern Gospel

20 Responses to “One Monticello Life: Bill and Beverly Burchfield”

  1. Teresa Horn says:

    We are so proud to have them as our neighbors. They truly are gifts tto our community. Such warm, kind and genuinely nice people.

  2. Joyce Pevey says:

    I have enjoyed getting to know the Burchfield’s since I’ve been in Monticello and appreciate their help with our 5th Thursday night singings at Campground and other singings we have in the area.
    Their music is very inspiring as well as their lives.



  4. B. White says:

    Miss Bev & Billy B., this article is a worthy tribute to two incredible people who have blessed me for many years. Thanks.

  5. Joe Harrod says:

    Mr. Bill and Mrs. Beverly. You are wonderful people. God bless you both.

  6. Jim Searcy says:

    I had the privilage of being in the same Sunday School class with Bill And Beverly for years. I can say that they “Walk the Talk”.

  7. Former Dermott Student says:

    I had Mr. Burchfield several years in school. He was one of my favorite teachers. He is a wonderful person.

  8. Josh Frost says:

    Bill and Beverly Burchfield are two of the finest people that I know. They both have a wonderful musical talent, and a love for God and people. I don’t believe you could have chosen two better people to write about. Bill and Bev, thank you for all you do for your church and community, and thank you for being such a great example of how true Christians are to live and serve. Love you both!

  9. Mary Kay Norris says:

    As Barney Fife would say, “They’re a bunch of NUTS!” lol These are 2 wonderful Christian people that my husband, Sluggo, and I love very, very much! They let the world know that being a Christian is FUN!! (Even if you do have to make Bill quit playing his “squeeze box” because your toes start tapping and you’re afraid you’ll start dancing, and everyone KNOWS that Baptist aren’t supposed to dance!! JK)

  10. Molly Miller says:

    I was so glad to see this article! You both know how much I love you! You have both been a big part of my life, especially you Mr Burchfield. You both deserve the best and I hope you are enjoying retirement to the fullest!

  11. Sheila Farrell Brannon says:

    Billy and Beverly, I second everything that has been said so far. You are wonderful friends and mean so much to me and to Temple Baptist Church. We still feel that we can’t have a revival without you. I pray for God’s blessings of health and happiness and for you to have many more joyous years together. Enjoy your retirement. I love you both.

  12. Loraine Christmas says:

    Ijust want to say that Bill and Beverly Burchfield are the real deal! I have known them for over 30 years and they are the kindest and most loving people in the world. I am proud to call them my friends!!

  13. Sue Fowler Jones says:

    The Burchfields are wonderful people. So proud they are keeping busy. The young men attending college should all be required to spend time with Mr Burchfield. He truly is a gentle giant and he could teach these young men a lot and lead them to the Lord. Way to go Burchfields continue your good work.

  14. Edith says:

    I enjoy hearing their music at the 5th Thursday nite singings when I get to go over at Campground Church!! they do have a God given talent & seem to be such nice folks. Mr. Bill was on the funeral home staff when my husband passed away–remember the wagon ride down at Prairie Grove Cemetery back in Sept 09? thanks for all ya’ll do to help others!!!

  15. Amanda Bittle says:

    This is an awesome article about two very awesome people. I have known the Burchfield’s all of my life. Mr. Burchfield has touched my life in many ways. First it was as the bus driver who made sure my sister and I made it safely to and from school each day. Next came the teacher who made history come alive – and required me to do a report on my grandfather’s service in WWII – wow, what a lesson I learned from that. And lastly as the pianist who graciously and beautifully played for my grandfather’s funeral. Mr. Burchfield, you will never know how much you influenced the lives of all the students you taught at Dermott High School. Kudos to Bill and Beverly Burchfield!!

  16. Brian & Leslie says:

    We only lived in Monticello for 4 yrs however we made friends for life with Bill & Bev. They took us in, took care of us, & treat us as family! We have been truely blessed by these wonderful people. Also, blessed by the writer of this article. We will always have a love for Monticello because people like you!

  17. Former Dermott Student says:

    This is an awesome article. Mr. Burchfield was one of my favorite teachers in Dermott High. History was a challenge for some of us but he made sure we understood. We also watched the History Channel with him and at home because we never knew when a POP QUIZ was coming concerning the show. Mrs. Burchfield you have a wonderful husband. Congratulations on this recognition and stay motivated in Jesus.

  18. Tina Ferguson says:

    Mrs. Bev and Mr. Bill : Anyone that puts up with my Dad (Tommy) is an angel! The joy and blessings the both of you share not just in the church but in our community is appreciated more than you will ever know. GOD has given you both talents that you unselfishly share and give. You both are awsome people and have set good role models for our future. I pray GOD will continue to bless you both.
    Christ love & mine,
    Tina Ferguson

  19. Andy Brannon says:

    The best! It would take too much room to respond!

  20. Jo Carol (Burchfield) says:

    I taught them everything I know!

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