Robert Thomas "Bob" Burtch, 71, of Topeka, KS, died Thursday, October 7, 2021. Bob was born on March 30, 1950, in Borger TX, to Robert and Mary Elizabeth (Kolter) Burtch. He grew up in Bronson, KS, where his family operated a hardware store. He was a 1964 graduate of Bronson Grade School, 1968 graduate of Iola Senior High School, and graduated with a degree in Journalism in 1972 from the University of Kansas.
From 1972 to 1984, he worked as a reporter, photographer, or editor for daily newspapers in El Dorado, Dodge City, Hutchinson, Hays, and Ottawa. After a move to Topeka, in 1985 he joined the staff of the Kansas Arts Commission as writer, editor and photographer, overseeing and designing publications for the agency. He prepared the nomination papers for Gordon Parks to receive the National Medal of Arts from the President. He oversaw the process that resulted in the selection of "Ad Astra" as the sculpture to top the dome of the Kansas Capitol. He retired from the KAC in 2005.
Bob is survived by his wife, Martha A. Peterson, and his daughters, Sarah and Erin. Bob was an active member of the Trinity Presbyterian Church since 1984, where he served as an elder, a member of the Peacemaking Committee, and participated in gatherings with the Trinity Men’s Group.
He also served on the boards of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice (TCP&J) and the Public Relations Society of Topeka. He was a life member of the University of Kansas Alumni Association and the American Motorcyclist Association.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, October 18, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 4746 SW 21st Street, Topeka, KS, masks required. The family suggests donations in lieu of flowers to the Los Talpetates Scholarship Fund at Trinity Presbyterian Church or the CAT Association of Topeka.
Dove Cremations and Funerals Southwest Chapel is assisting the family.
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