“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Oliver Keith Burchfield passed away in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Monday, December 11, 2023, at the age of 91. The eighth of nine children, he was born June 6, 1932, in rural Winston County, Mississippi into a close-knit extended family. Keith earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Mississippi State University. He proudly served in the United States Army. Following his military service, he received his Master of Science in Forestry from Louisiana State University.
Keith married his high school sweetheart, Melva Ruth Shumaker, in 1954. They began their family in Fort Benning, Georgia, and later moved throughout Louisiana including Baton Rouge, Eunice, and Franklin, and a brief time in Henderson, Texas before ultimately settling in Baton Rouge in 1970. Keith enjoyed 50 years in the hardwood forestry business as Owner and President of Plaquemine Hardwoods, Coastal Hardwoods, and Burchfield Forestry Consulting. Attending Southside Baptist Church and University Baptist Church, his love of Jesus was evident through his faithful ministry as a Sunday School Bible teacher and a deacon throughout his life.
Keith’s greatest pleasure came from spending time with family and friends; especially sharing meals, traveling, and occasionally fishing. He will be remembered most for his kindness and generosity to all. He was a gifted storyteller with his tales being mostly truthful, but always entertaining!
Keith is preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, three sisters, and the love of his life of nearly 60 years, Melva. He is survived by three children and their spouses Stephen Burchfield and his wife Paige, Pam King and her husband Bill, and Kevin Burchfield and his wife Stacy; seven grandchildren, Dara Wascome and her husband David, Ali Burchfield, Zachary Burchfield and his wife Jean, Bradley King and his wife Patti, Lori King Yokem, Taylor Burchfield, and Kaylee Burchfield and her fiancé Codey; and nine great-grandchildren, Bo and Alton Wascome, Wesley Burchfield, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Joshua King, and William, Ginny, and Cate Yokem.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to the caring staff and residents of The Claiborne Retirement Community, where Keith enjoyed the last two years of his life.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial & Visitation Service at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials to one of Keith’s favorite charities: Bethany Centre Alliance (bethanycentrealliance.com) or Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home (LBCH.org).
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com