Logan Township police officer Terry Walter first met fellow officer William P. Burrows while volunteering with the Greenwood Fire Company 35 years ago, and said the 25-year veteran of the township's police department was "a good guy to have in your corner while out on the job."
Burrows, 58, passed away Monday at his home after a fighting multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, discovered after an injury in late 2009. He was a U.S. Marine sergeant who served in Vietnam, a police officer, a volunteer firefighter, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a friend.
Please see obituary, Page A9.
"In a lot of ways, he acted like a big brother to me," said Walter. "He and I, we've been through a lot together."
Burrows was the kind of guy who, when taking on a task, strove to learn everything he could about the job, Walter said.
"Whatever he got into, he got into 100 percent," Walter said. "And he did it extremely well."
Chief Ron Heller, also a Marine who served in Vietnam, said he visited with Burrows on Saturday and said that despite his illness, Burrows was in good spirits. He said he told Burrows how he had valued his friendship and that "he was a special breed."
"Semper Fi," Burrows responded, Heller said.
Heller said Burrows was someone he could count on and was someone who "told it like it was."
Burrows coached the police department's softball team, making sure the guys not only played but also practiced, Heller said.
"When I was interim chief and there were political questions about my ability to do the job, Bill was one of my biggest supports," Heller said. "I could confide in him."
Burrows had to stop working in 2010 because of his illness but was back after a few months, Heller said. Unfortunately, his return was short and he was again off work while battling his illness. Burrows officially retired on April 6, 25 years to the day from when he started.
"Even after he retired, he stayed active," said fellow Logan Township officer Chris Bender, who said Burrows liked to talk police work and "always paid attention to what we were doing."
Burrows had an encyclopedia-like memory for names and addresses and knew the criminal and vehicle codes inside and out, Bender said.
"He studied police work," Bender said. "He absolutely loved being a policeman. He was in it for the right reasons - to help the community. He had a hard exterior but had one of the biggest hearts of anyone I ever met."
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.