After retiring from the Stewart Bolling Co., where he worked on machinery for manufacturing tires, Burlen Southers worked as a custodian and maintenance man for .
The Bath Township resident, who died Feb. 6 at age 88, initially volunteered for the job. He later joined the church staff.
“He did everything and anything in the church,” said Rev. Maureen Webber, associate pastor. She added that, because Southers also was a devoted and engaged church member, for him, “It was a joy job.”
Southers, who was a certified HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) technician, retired from the church in 1995.
In May 2000, he received the church’s Long Term Service Award, which Webber described as “an award of distinction and much fanfare in the life of the church.”
Southers was born in Blairsville in the mountains of northern Georgia. He lived in the Akron area before moving to Bath in 1968.
He served as a cook in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Even though he enjoyed kitchen duties, he let his wife of 66 years, Zada, do the cooking at home.
Southers was past president of the Bath-Richfield Kiwanis. He also belonged to Akron Men’s Garden Club and the National Rifle Association.
He was fond of bird-watching, square dancing, bowling and golf. He also liked to hunt -- deer in the south and bear in the north.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brothers, Ray and Dallas.
Calling hours are 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at the , 85 N. Miller Rd., Fairlawn.
Graveside services will take pace at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at Moore’s Chapel Cemetery, 1631 North Hametown Rd., south of Ira Road, Bath Township.
A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at Bath United Church of Christ, 3980 W. Bath Rd.