Owen W. Burby

Published on Sunday, 27 January 2019 14:47


Owen W. Burby, 82, of Plainville, was taken into God’s hands with his family by his side, following a long battle with ALS and cancer, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.

Born in Mapleton, Maine on June 23, 1936, he was one of seven children to the late Walter and Lena (Beaulieu) Burby. Raised and educated in Ashland, Maine, he settled in Connecticut at age 17 and worked as a welder for Standard Structural Steel. Owen enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1956, proudly serving his country, and was honorably discharged in 1962. It was during his military career when he married the love of his life, Diana, sharing 61 years together, raising three loving children whom they eventually worked alongside. 

With his kindhearted personality and entrepreneurial drive, Owen was a well-known and much loved, successful, businessman. He, along with his family, owned and operated Illusions Dance Club and Restaurant, retiring in 2015, after providing over 45 years of entertainment spanning multiple generations and genres of music. Additionally, he operated Bristol establishments Maryland Fried Chicken and the Hide-A-Way Cafe in the 1970s, Zanzibar, and Joshua Steak House in the 1980s. He and his brother, Wade, combined their interest in music and started Burby Records in 1991, producing a record for a young country singer.  Owen was an outdoors enthusiast, who had a love for hunting and fishing and, along with his friend and fellow hunter, Richard Clark, invented and patented in the mid ’80s the universal cartridge trimming device that is still used today. A cowboy at heart, he purchased and refurbished the bleachers from Tinty’s Stadium, and created a weekend long professional rodeo behind Illusions that attracted over 14,000 people, followed by rodeos at Terryville Fair Grounds.

Above all, he will forever be remembered as a true family man and hard-working provider, who loved to strike up a conversation, share a joke and his unforgettable smile with everyone he came into contact with daily. He will be greatly missed, leaving many cherished memories with his family and wide circle of friends.

In addition to his wife, Diana, he leaves his sons, Francis and his wife, Ki, of East Hartford and Walter and his wife, Michele, of Wolcott; his daughter, Linda Chadbourne and her husband, Eric, of Plainville; his grandchildren, Ashley and Amber Chadbourne, Leah, Lena, Noah and Shannon Burby. He also leaves his sisters, Lillian Smith of Presque Isle, Maine, and Phoebe Masse of East Hartford; his brother, Gary of Portage Lake, Maine; and many nieces and nephews. 

He was predeceased by his grandson, Joshua Burby; his brother, Wade, and sisters, Florence Duprey and Silvia Cloukey.

In lieu of flowers, Owen may be remembered with contributions to the Hospital for Special Care, 2150 Corbin Ave, New Britain, CT 06053 or  www.hfsc.org. Funeral services in celebration of Owen’s life will be held on Monday at 9 a.m., at Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad St, Plainville, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Mercy Church. Committal services with Military Honors will follow at West Cemetery, Plainville. Family and friends may gather on Sunday, from 2 to 5 p.m., at the funeral home. For online expressions of sympathy, visit  www.PlainvilleFuneralHome.com .

Posted in The Bristol Press, on Sunday, 27 January 2019 14:47. Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2019 14:50.