Saturday evening, February 12, was the annual Valentine's Day Banquet for our church on the campus of Georgetown College. This fine event is run every year by Shari Coleman who does an outstanding job of pulling everything together. Right before the banquet I was talking with her when she said, "By the way, Dad said to tell Tom if he asks how I am doing, tell him, 'very well,' for me. And tell him I do tell a lie from time to time."
"Dad" is Archie Burchfield. He and his lovely wife Betty were unable to be at the banquet. Archie was battling cancer at the time. Yesterday morning he lost that battle. Archie was that one person who you knew would always be there on Sunday morning unless he was feeling worse than most of the people in the Georgetown Hospital. As I looked out on the congregation as their preacher, Archie was always on the back row right, last person on the side aisle.
If the name Archie Burchfield sounds familiar to you it may "very well" be. Throughout the 70s and 80s his name was synonymous with croquet. Not just croquet, but championship croquet. He was seven times the state champ here in Kentucky in that time period. But I honestly think that the most satisfying win was in 1982 when Archie and his son, Mark, won the National Doubles Championship in Central Park in New York City. Archie has a room full of trophies from his wins.
However, after showing me his trophies one day, he smiled and said, "but my real trophy is my family." Archie's three children, their spouses and his ten grandchildren were what made life important for Archie. In the end they were the ones who were with him. He was a loving father, husband and friend. The people of Stamping Ground knew that if they needed help they could call on Archie. He was one of those people that blessed everyone he knew.
"For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will give me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8 To which Archie would add, "Very Well."
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