Cover photo for James Burtch's Obituary
James Burtch Profile Photo

James Burtch

December 16, 1967 — April 19, 2023


James Burtch

James "Jim" Burtch age 55 of Roanoke passed away on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Mary Jane Burtch.

Jim is survived by his wife, Megan Smith Burtch, daughter Madelyn Burtch, stepdaughter Teegen Bowen, stepson Xander Bowen, brother Joe Burtch (Jennifer) aunt Betty Dillon and his fearless canine companion Mickey.


Throughout his life, Jim thrived on creativity and never ceased to bring beauty into the world through art and music. As a young man, Jim served as the lead singer for local punk bands The Waltons and Thee Wanderers. Jim would later go on to form and play keyboards for local rockabilly band Vim Vigor Vitality. Jim loved performing with these bands, frequently sharing stories of the road with anyone who would listen.


In recent years, Jim’s creative flair led him to immerse himself in the art world. The son of two artists, Jim grew up surrounded by art, and in 2013, he began to paint in earnest. Jim found great joy in the creative process, landing solo shows at Gallery 202 and Alexander/Heath Contemporary gallery. Beyond his own art, Jim became a champion for other local artists who did necessarily fit into the typical artist mold. Jim worked with these local artists and local galleries, curating multiple group art shows. But it was the curation of The Burtch Family Art show in 2021 that he was the proudest, showcasing the artwork of three generations of family artists.


In addition to art, Jim’s other love was soccer, be it watching his beloved Manchester United or coaching recreational youth soccer, especially girls’ soccer. Jim looked forward to coaching rec teams all year, and continued to coach through the Fall of 2022, well into his cancer diagnosis. He found immense joy in teaching up and coming players, finding those “diamonds in the rough” and helping them foster a love of the sport.


Jim possessed a fierceness of spirit that was immeasurable and brought much beauty, laughter, and love to others. During the last 18 months, he relished talking books, documentaries, and the latest binge-worthy television show. He was a man of conviction, a champion for the underdog, a punk, a poet, a devoted dad and husband who wore his heart and rebel spirit on his sleeve. His infectious smile and wit will be missed.


A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date.  The family will receive guests at this time at Jim’s home at 1822 Arlington Road, Roanoke. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to the Star City Soccer Foundation.


Arrangements by Conner-Bowman Funeral Home & Crematory, 62 VA Market Place Drive, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Burtch, please visit our flower store.


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