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January 19, 2022 - 00:00
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Robert Vivian Burch, Jr. passed away on Sunday, January 2, 2022. Bob was born January 23, 1932, to Robert V. and Elsie Jines Burch in Starks, Louisiana, in, as he put it, “a farmhouse with no electricity.” He was raised in Beaumont, Texas, and graduated from South Park High School in 1949.

He enlisted in the United States Navy later that year, trained in New London, Connecticut, and San Diego, California, and was stationed in Japan during the Korean War while serving aboard the submarine USS Pomodon as Quartermaster. Using his GI benefits, he enrolled at Lamar State Technical College ( now Lamar University ) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. It was there he met and married Celeste Fontenot, a marriage of 57 years. Bob taught biology and chemistry at San Jacinto High School from 1957-1964; served as Assistant Principal at Waltrip High School from 1964-1970; and was Principal, Assistant Superintendent, and finished his 31-year career in education in 1983 as Alief ISD Superintendent.

Bob held a number of community positions: president of Alief Noon Lions, board member of First Alief Bank, and inaugural member of the Harris County Appraisal District. In retirement, he and Celeste lived on 55 acres in Tarpley, Texas, and later, homes in Bandera and West Columbia, Texas. A lifelong golfer, Bob was always proud to say he shot a documented hole in one and, in retirement, shot his age more than once.

Bob is predeceased by his wife Celeste, and survived by three children and their spouses, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. At his request, there will be no funeral service. The family will have a private burial ceremony at Big Woods Cemetery in Edgerly, Louisiana.