Obituary: Brewster Resident Who Wrote Book on Time at Foster Homes Dies

Beecher Funeral Home provided the following obituary.

Jennings Michael Burch, of Brewster, died Tuesday at Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel. He was 71.

Mr. Burch was born on April 27, 1941 in Manhattan. He was the son of the late Francis and Rita (Hogan) Burch. Chappaqua was his home for 20 years before moving to Brewster in 1998. Mr. Burch married Susan Elmer on Aug. 24, 1985 in Mount Kisco.

He is survived by his loving wife, son Jeremy Walter Michael Burch, a daughter Kelly Burch Pickow (Ward) and two grandchildren Matthew and Ashley. He was predeceased by his parents and his siblings Joseph, James, John, Jerome, Gene and Maryanne.

Mr. Burch worked as a theater manager for a number of years. He was a New York City officer for 10 years. He took a leave of absence from the force to join Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” in 1975. In 1984, he wrote his autobiography, They Cage the Animals at Night. The book chronicled his growing up in numerous orphanages and foster homes. He frequently spoke across the US and Canada sharing his inspiring life story with students.

Mr. Burch wrote poetry and lyrics. He was a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). He was a devoted Yankees fan and cared deeply for all animals. He was especially proud to be an American and expressed a deep love of country.

A vigil service was held at Beecher Funeral Home (located on Putnam Avenue in Brewster, 845-279-3615) Friday. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to:

The Putnam Humane Society (www.puthumane.org)

68 Old Route 6

Carmel, NY 10512 

Susan Riley January 21, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Burch's book "They Cage the Animals at Night" has been loved by thousands, and his presentations to teens and older children were always greatly appreciated. He's going to be missed by so many people.
Ashley Tarr January 22, 2013 at 02:55 AM
I loved the book, Susan. So sad to hear this news.


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