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William Davis “W.D” “Bill” Burks, age 98, of Hodgenville, passed away Monday, March 19, 2018, at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown.
Bill was born to the late Richard Thornton and Allie Mae Davis Burks on April 27, 1919, at Davis Bend in Hart County and married Ercel Maurie Elliott on April 12, 1942, who preceded him in death on May 5, 2001. He was also preceded in death by three brothers, Richard, Joseph and John.
He was a member of Hodgenville United Methodist Church; was a farmer, growing the first hybrid seed corn in the state in 1938 and operating Broadview Farm from 1956 until present; an entrepreneur, co-founding the LaRue Co. Certified Seed Association (1938-1942) and John Deere Farmer Supply (1941-42), which outsold all dealerships in the Southeast region by taking mules in on trade for new tractors and Elizabethtown Dairy (1947-1959) and was a salesman for Life of Kentucky from 1962 to 1966. However, Bill’s proudest accomplishment was the role he played in establishing the Community College system in Kentucky, the Elizabethtown Community College and the North Central Education Foundation (now the Central Kentucky Community Foundation), where he served in the Board of Directors as farm manager and advisor on land use from 1966 to 1999, when he retired as Director Emeritus.
Bill is survived by his daughter, Jo Anne (Manuel) Garcia-Melendez of Savannah, GA; his three sons, Douglas, Dana and Jeri Burks; all of Hodgenville; two sisters, Martha Owens and Mary Jane Wiley; a sister-in-law, Jean Elliott Brown; three grandchildren, Laura, Kelly and Veronica; three great-grandchildren and numerous loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Hodgenville United Methodist Church with Bruce Hiner officiating. Burial will follow in the Red Hill Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 PM, Friday and from 9 to 10:30 AM, Saturday at Bennett-Bertram Funeral Home in Hodgenville.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Hodgenville United Methodist Church, 825 Tonieville Rd, Hodgenville, KY 42748 or the Central Kentucky Community Foundation, 306 W. Dixie Hwy, Elizabethtown, KY 42701.