William A. “Bill” Burry, 76, of Effingham, IL, peacefully passed away Sunday morning April 29, 2018, at home with his wife by his side.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 4, 2018, at First Baptist Church in Effingham. Burial will be in Arborcrest Memorial Park. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham.
Memorials may be made in loving memory of Bill to his family. A memorial fund has been set up at Crossroads Bank in Effingham.
William was born on October 5, 1941, in Mason, IL, the son of Ithamer B. and Clytaus E. (Parks) Burry. He was united in marriage to Glenda McCluskey on November 24, 1963.
For over two decades, Bill was widely known throughout Effingham County and beyond as the “Voice of Country Music,” broadcasting from 95.7 WCRC in Effingham, sharing his passion for country music to thousands of loyal listeners on a daily basis. Bill most enjoyed hosting his Saturday morning shows where he featured countless local artists, many of whom performed live on the radio for the first time. His Saturday morning shows were extremely popular, highlighting classic country artists from years past.
Bill’s passion for music began when he picked up his first guitar at the age of twelve. Everything he played was self-taught and played by ear. He went on to become one of the areas best guitar players and country music singers. His band, “Bill Burry and the Wagon Wheels,” was a local favorite and entertained fans for decades. He was a very gifted singer, right on par with the likes of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and innumerable others.
In the 1970’s, Bill and his wife formed a southern gospel group, “God’s Country Singers.” The group also consisted of some of the areas best musicians. They recorded an album and traveled regularly to many venues, singing, praising, and spreading the Word of God.
In the early 70’s, Bill and his father, IB, started an insurance and real estate firm in Effingham, “Burry Insurance and Realty”, which became one of Effingham’s most prominent businesses for nearly forty years.
Bill had a very high IQ and a remarkable memory. Aside from music, he devoured hundreds upon hundreds of history books and timeless novels over his lifetime, becoming a brilliant scholar. He was an exceptionally devout Christian and an extraordinary theologian.
He was a fervent and passionate life-long Green Bay Packers fan. He loved the outdoors and spent most weekends exploring the woods on horseback with his family and friends. But, taking quiet walks with his loving wife, Glenda, is what he cherished most.
All who knew him will feel his absence.
No ear has heard, No eye has seen
Not even in your wildest dreams
The beauty that awaits beyond this world
When you look into the eyes of grace
And hear the voice of mercy say
Child, welcome to the reason for the world.
(Lyrics from The Reason For the World by Matthew West)
Bill is survived by his wife of over 54 years, Glenda Burry of Effingham; son, Bill J. (Kim) Burry of Altamont; daughter, April (Brett) Schuette of O’Fallon; grandchildren, Justin Burry, Brant (Kirstie) Burry, Cameron (Mallory) Burry, Brittany Pritts, deceased, and Bryson Schuette; step-grandchildren, Samantha Lucy, Jacob Lucy, and Christopher Lucy; great-grandchildren, Kortland Burry and Emma Burry; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Janice Tarrant; brother, Jack Burry; and precious 21-year-old granddaughter, Brittany.