Okey Van Burroughs, born the youngest son of Emery Burroughs and Betty Mae Facemire Burroughs of Clay, West Virginia, passed away on March 26th after a long illness at the age of 92.
Okey was a well-known and long-time resident of the community. He graduated from Clay County High School in 1947 and worked for Elk Power Company as an apprentice electrician and lineman in his youth, helping to build power lines into several areas of Clay County in the last 1940’s and early 1950’s.
After marrying Darreline Cook in 1949, he spent a brief time in the Marine Corp. and then returned home to drive school bus for a few years before moving away and starting a family. While away from Clay, Okey became a Master Electrician and worked in Florida and Indiana wiring hundreds of homes and businesses during a nearly 30-year career. Upon returning to Clay in 1979, he resumed his job as a bus driver until becoming the Electrical Maintenance Technician for Clay County Schools in 1981, and served in that post until his retirement in 1997.
Okey also served on the town council for several years in the ‘90’s and ran for and won the Clay Mayoral election in 1998, serving two terms, during which time both the municipal water and sewer systems were refurbished. After leaving the mayor’s office, he tended to his wife as she struggled with Alzheimer’s until her passing in 2013.
Okey is survived by his half brother, Paul Johnson of Myrtle Beach, SC; daughter Vanessa Burroughs-Rhodes of Staunton,VA; son Kevin of Tampa, FL; and two granddaughters and a great-granddaughter, all from Virginia.
A public viewing was scheduled at Wilson-Smith Funeral Home on Thursday, April 2, from 6 to 8 p.m., and a graveside service was held April 3 at 11 a.m. at the White Cemetery in Procious. Flowers may be sent to the funeral home, or donations can be made in Okey’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.carlwilsonfuneralhome.com.
Wilson Smith is honored to be serving the Burroughs family.