Brig. Gen. Junior H. Burkhead Ret.

Brig. Gen. Junior Henry Burkhead, USANG (Ret.) Brig. Gen. Junior Henry Burkhead, USANG (Ret.), age 84, a resident of Albuquerque since 1991, died Tuesday, April 15, 2014. He is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Loretha; seven children, Thomas Burkhead and wife, Janet, Karen Hurley and husband, Tom, Linda Ann Thompson and husband, Larry, Lori Ann Burkhead, Timothy Burkhead and wife, Marcy, Cheri Sorber and husband, Joe, and Lisa Miller and husband, John; eleven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; brothers, Duane Burkhead and Richard Burkhead and wife, Carol; sisters, Beverly Coyle and Connie Boehler; many nieces and nephews and a host of treasured friends, civilian and military. Brig. Gen. Burkhead was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Kathy Dianne; infant son, James Patrick; and parents, Henry Joseph and Edna Marie Burkhead. He was born in 1930 in rural Logan, Beebee Town, Harrison County, IA. He was the first of five children for Henry Joseph and Edna Marie (Emswiler) Burkhead. His heritage dates back to 1560 (over 400 years) to Bristol, Gloucester, England (fifteen generations and most were farmers like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather). The first seventeen years of his life he spent with his family on an eighty acre farm in Harrison County, Iowa. For eight years he attended a country school and then graduated from Missouri Valley High School in 1948. He was a graduate of Drake University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. When he was thirteen years old, he prided himself on being able to hand husk one hundred bushels of corn per day by himself. Junior married Marjorie Clare McCrickard after high school and they were blessed with three sons and six daughters. He was most proud of his family and relished his roles as husband, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa. Junior enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard at Sheldon, Iowa on June 23, 1948 as a Private in an Infantry Rifle Company and retired in June 10, 1991 as a Brigadier General. He served in combat in the 111 Corps Tactical Zone in Vietnam and was appointed in 1978 by Governor Robert D. Ray as Adjutant General of Iowa with a promotion to Brigadier General. After his tenure he was ordered to Washington and there he served as principal director to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Mobilization, Training and Readiness. He served over five years in the Pentagon. On June 1, 1991, The Secretary of Defense, Mr. Dick Cheney awarded a certificate of Retirement to Brigadier General Junior Henry Burkhead for 41 years and 10 months of faithful service to the United States Government. He received many other awards throughout his career. He was a life member of the National Guard Association of the United States, Association of the United States Army, The Retired Officers Association, Disabled American Veterans, Alumni Association of the US Army War College and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Upon his retirement, Junior returned to his heritage occupation, farming and ranching in the State of New Mexico. Before his death, he purchased a small horse ranch in the North Valley of Albuquerque. At the time of his death, he and his wife, Loretha operated a horse ranch and stable, Aunt Hazel’s Stables, caring for eleven horses, and a fruit orchard, an occupation he dearly loved. Friends may visit FRENCH – Wyoming on Saturday, April 19, 2014 beginning at 12:00 p.m. Services will follow at 1:00 p.m. Brigadier General Burkhead will then be transported from Albuquerque to Hennessy-Aman Funeral Home in Missouri Valley, IA for final services with full military honors. His son, Colonel Thomas D. Burkhead, will escort his father to his final resting place. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Junior’s name to the American Heart Association, 2201 San Pedro Dr. NE, Albuquerque. Military Honors will be conducted by the Julius F. Muller American Legion Post #337 of Missouri Valley and the VFW Post #6256 O”Hara Seeley Post.

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