IBJNews

Widow aspires to continue operating Burd Ford

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A month after Rich Burd took his life at the Ford dealership he and his wife, Chris Burd, built together in Lawrence, she’s still at a loss for an explanation.

The closest thing to any motivation would be the general condition of the auto business, Chris Burd said, even though the dealership was nowhere near insolvency.

She believes the economy along with competitive pressures from unnamed rival dealers who weren’t “warm and fuzzy” might have played a role in convincing him that ending his life was best for her and their four children, ages 12 to 19.

“It was nothing unmanageable. Obviously in his mind it was unmanageable,” she said. “You can’t understand something that doesn’t make sense. So trying to is just going to make you crazy.”

The asphyxiation death of 43-year-old Rich Burd on Nov. 10 came nearly a year after another local auto dealer took his life. Duke Gold, who operated a Volkswagen and Subaru location in Speedway, died of a gunshot wound. The brands have been taken over by former Saab dealer Bob Falcone at the same spot at 1935 W. 16th St.

Chris Burd anticipates the green light from Ford Motor Co. (IBJ Photo/Robin Jerstad)

Chris Burd had worked alongside her husband throughout their 23 years of marriage, but said she had no indication he was so distressed.

The day of his death, Rich seemed to be the same selfless family man he’d always been, Chris said. He had talked with the coach of their son’s basketball team no fewer than three times about helping with the team, and the couple had completed another of their long-running television commercials in which Rich would say, “Haven’t you heard?” and Chris would finish with, “Burd’s the word.”

The evening concluded with their agreeing on a financial strategy for the business and Rich starting to work on the idea. It was later that night, after he didn’t come home, when she found him at the dealership.

People who didn’t know Rich well often took him to be quiet, serious and even intimidating, she said, but at home he was more often a fun-loving “goofball.” He also was jokingly known in the family as the “spelunker” because he caved in so often when it came to disciplining the children.

None of that had changed on the last day of his life.

Rich Burd

Now Chris is back to making commercials for the state’s fourth-largest Ford dealership—with her 55 employees.

“Whatever his reason for doing what he did, my reason for continuing is because of him,” she said.

Chris, who kept an office next to Rich’s, said the dealership is current on debt payments for the $8 million location they built at 10230 Pendleton Pike in 2006. They bought the dealership in 2000.

She knows more than a thing or two about the car business. In addition to helping manage Burd Ford, she’s a graduate of the one-year dealer academy sponsored by the National Automobile Dealers Association, a ticket often sought by aspiring general managers.

Chris was vice president of Burd Automotive Inc. and half owner of CB Holdings LLC, the company that owns the property.

In coming months, she anticipates the necessary thumbs-up from Ford Motor Co., then taking over the dealership and moving on. Their sons, Nick, 15, and Jack, 14, have shown interest in coming into the business someday.•

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT