Howard Eugene (Pete) Burgher was born May 14, 1951 at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr, Iowa to Howard and Noma (Hull) Burgher of Tingley, Iowa. Pete grew up on the farm in southern Iowa. He attended elementary school at Tingley until the seventh grade. Pete attended high school in Mount Ayr, Iowa until his junior year. He moved to Smithton, Missouri and graduated with his diploma in 1969. Upon graduation, Pete returned to southern Iowa and married his high school sweetheart, Martha Sue Meyer, who died a short while later.
After Martha’s death, Pete joined the United States Army and served two tours of duty being stationed in Germany and stateside. After serving his country, Pete lived and worked in the Des Moines area for several years.
In the late 1970s, Pete moved to Lincoln, Missouri and drove over-the-road until he returned to southern Iowa in 1982. Pete met and married Darla Chestnut. To that union a son, Daniel Eugene, was born.
In 1985 a son, Joshua David, was born to Pete and Sue Davis. Pete and Sue made a home together in Fontanelle, Iowa.
Pete had a passion for all things out of doors. He was an avid gardener and took pride in growing huge tomatoes, his specialty. He always had extra which he gave away, along with a little growing advice.
In the spring Pete could be found fishing at any pond, lake or spot of water trying to land the big one and out-fish anyone who was willing to join him. Pete also had a love of hunting, spending cooler months with family and friends and pursuing coyotes, rabbits, deer and pheasant.
Pete was a person who had enormous love for people and life. He never met a stranger and can be remembered as the one to strike up a conversation; whether at the gas station or on the street. Pete was a friend to all and treasured children; especially his grandchildren.
Pete was preceded in death by his first wife, Martha, both parents and stepson, Perry Davis.
Survivors include his sons, Daniel Burgher of Maryville, Missouri and Joshua Burgher of Bridgewater, Iowa; stepchildren, Penny (Tommy) Luft of Corning, Iowa, Betti Ann Davis of Creston, Iowa and Jeannie (Tony) Franklin of Council Bluffs, Iowa; brother, Norman Burgher (Royann) of Tingley, Iowa; three sisters, Diana (Tom) Davis of Des Moines, Iowa, Lynita (Merl) Essley of Cole Camp, Missouri and Jeanie (Frank) Hollander of Winterset, Iowa; grandchildren, including Ezra Burgher, Issac Luft and Walker and Hunter Davis, and several nieces and nephews.
Pete had a heart bigger than the entire outdoors. Pete will be greatly missed by all who knew him and the memory of his smile and laughter will remain forever.
A celebration of life was held at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Saturday, June 11, 2011, with Rev. Rick Hawkins officiating. Musical selections included ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ and ‘In The Garden.’
Honorary pallbearers included Larry Swank, Matthew Swank, Kirk Greenman, Greg Hull, Kevin Hull, Dave Carlisle, Gary Burgher and Jim Coulson.
Burial was at the Ellston Cemetery in Ellston. Memorials are to the family.