Mr. Burch, 66, of Winter Garden, died Feb. 25, 2021.
William “Billy” Burch, 66, of Winter Garden, Florida passed suddenly and unexpectedly from this life on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. He was born in Lakeland, Florida, on June 30, 1954, the son of Selby R. Burch and Brady Lee Bayshore.
Billy is survived by his wife, Kathleen (Fontaine) Burch; a daughter, Kaley (Josh) Maloy; a son, Tristan; a grandson, Barrett Maloy; a sister, Alyson Denise Burch (Minneola, Florida); and his brother, Scott Story Burch (“Lou”) (Alpine, Texas).
Billy was a 1973 graduate of Lakeview High School in Winter Garden. Following high school, Billy attended the Daytona Beach Community College and Florida Southern University, where he earned a degree in Citrus and Horticultural Science. After college, Billy worked for B.E. Dillard Grove Service in Eustis, Florida, and later joined his father, Selby, in the family’s citrus business. In addition Billy secured his real estate broker’s license and was a managing partner of Burch Properties along with his brother, Scott.
Billy was a community-minded individual, who served on the Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Winter Garden Planning and Zoning Board. In addition, he was a former director of the Bank First of Winter Garden.
Billy developed a love for flying and secured his pilot’s license at a very early age. After years of honing his aviator skills, he was inducted into the society of “Ye Anciente and Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen.” Also, Billy was a member of The Valiant Air Command and Wings of War. Along with his father, Selby, and brother, Scott, he greatly enjoyed participating in the annual Valiant Air Command Airshow at TICO Airport located in Titusville and in Tom Reilly’s end-of-year Warbird Fly-In and Airshow. Billy proudly flew and displayed his father’s award-winning P-51 Mustangs in numerous airshows and fly-ins across the southeastern United States. Billy rarely missed airshows or gatherings at country fly-ins or hangar parties. You could always depend on seeing his smiling face and hear his friendly greeting at any of these events. Ultimately, Billy’s superb flying skills landed him supporting roles in movies including “Winds of War,” “Too Young the Hero,” “The Road Raiders” and “Wild America.”
Billy served as Chairman of the West Orange Airport Authority, which included the towns of Apopka, Winter Garden and Ocoee. The authority’s goal was to establish a public general aviation airport, with federal and state grants, to serve West Orange County and East Lake County. Billy worked diligently to locate a large parcel of real estate to serve this purpose. However, despite the authority’s best efforts to date, the goal remains to be a worthy objective.
Billy was an avid outdoorsman, who greatly enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling and just kicking back to share time and to watch college football with family and friends. He especially cherished spending time at the “Burch Land & Cattle Company” ranch located in Alpine, Texas. Billy was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. Moreover, he was an easygoing, reliable, generous and unpretentious man, who easily attracted friends with whom he shared a mutual allegiance throughout his life. Billy will be sincerely missed by all who knew and loved him.
Visitation for friends will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 5, 2021, at Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home Winter Garden 428 E. Plant St., Winter Garden, FL 34787. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021, at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Winter Garden Cemetery. Please sign and view the family guest book at baldwinfairchildwintergarden.com.