Former Montcalm County undersheriff was ‘a tremendous resource’


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:35 am on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bill Burden

A longtime law enforcement veteran who previously served as undersheriff in Montcalm County has died.

William “Bill” Burden died Thursday after battling pancreatic cancer for two years. He was 65 years old.

Burden served with the Army in the Vietnam War prior to beginning a long career in law enforcement. He worked 30 years with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, retiring as captain of detectives. He then worked nine years as undersheriff of Montcalm County alongside newly elected Sheriff Bill Barnwell from 2001 to 2010.

“I knew Bill as someone who was a well-respected guy,” Barnwell said. “He was a loyal, hard-working guy who quickly gained the love and respect of everyone here. He was a great asset to me with his years of experience. He was just a great guy, a great mentor, a great asset for me and all my detectives.”

Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause said Burden was of great value in the law enforcement field and will be greatly missed.

“Bill Burden was a tremendous resource for all in law enforcement because of his years of experience,” Krause said. “He introduced my office to the concept of using a one-man grand jury on an unsolved murder case that ultimately resulted in the conviction of three men for the murder. A few years later, we used a grand jury again with similar results.”

Burden is survived by his wife, Linda, daughter, Amanda, son, John, grandson, Arie, and many more relatives.

Burden was a member of Oakwood Christian Reformed Church in Belding and served on the Faith Community Christian school board, where his children attended. He coached his son’s Little League baseball team and drove his daughter to piano and guitar lessons. Burden loved exploring the great outdoors, especially in Michigan and Arizona. He was a life member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Funeral services for Burden will be 11 a.m. Friday at Oakwood Christian Reformed Church in Belding. Visitation will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Pederson Funeral Home in Rockford and prior to Friday’s service at the church.

Memorials may be given to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Research, TGen Cancer Research or the Wounded Warriors Project.

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