Bishop Edward Malesic will celebrate a private funeral Mass at Assumption Church in Broadview Heights for Father Richard K. Burchell. Father Rob Wisniewski will be the homilist.
At the family’s request – due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the funeral will be private. A memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.
Father Burchell, senior priest-retired, died on Jan. 19 at age 74.
A Cleveland native, he was born on Sept. 5, 1945 to the late Frank and Leona (Wittan) Burchell. Father Burchell was educated at John Adams High School in Cleveland and he graduated from Kent State University in 1968. He taught eighth grade at St. Vitus School in Cleveland before entering the Congregation of the Sacred Heart in 1971 in Hales, Corner, Wisconsin. On Nov. 15, 1971, he was ordained into the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
Father Burchell was incardinated into the Diocese of Cleveland on Jan. 13, 1982.
He served at St. Agnes Parish, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1975-1976. Father Burchell taught at Sacred Heart Minor Seminary, Lenox, Massachusetts – Bellefontaine Seminary from 1976 to 1979.
On July 1, 1979, he was assigned to serve at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Cleveland. He was appointed parochial vicar of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Gates Mills on June 28, 1984.
Father Burchell was transferred to serve as a parochial vicar at St. Richard Parish in North Olmsted on June 14, 1989. He was named pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Barberton on Feb. 15, 1990 and on July 1, 2005, he was named pastor of St. Rita Parish in Solon. During this assignment, he also served as chaplain of the Knights of Columbus No. 4893, effective Jan. 10, 2006. Father Burchell also served four years – 2004-2008 – as a member at-large on the diocesan presbyteral council.
Father Burchell retired on June 30, 2020.
Those who knew him said he will be remembered as being kind, gentle and in touch with the needs of those entrusted to his care. His smile, words of encouragement and love for the priesthood touched many.
Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park.