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Lester Burcham, Former Woolworth Chairman, Dies

January 26, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ Lester A. Burcham, former chairman and chief executive of the F.W. Woolworth Co., has died at the age of 73.

Burcham died Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company said in a statement issued Monday. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Burcham, who was born in Lancaster, Ohio, began working for Woolworth in 1931 as a management trainee in Cleveland, and rose steadily through the company ranks.

In 1936 he was named manager of the Woolworth store in Bellefontaine, Ohio and became a district manager in 1945 after having managed three other stores. He became merchandise manager in 1948, merchandise supervisor in 1952 and assistant regional vice president in Cleveland in 1954.

Burcham moved to Woolworth’s corporate headquarters in New York in 1955 and became regional vice president of Woolworth’s mid-Atlantic region in Philadelphia in 1957.

In 1958 he returned to New York as corporate vice president, became a member of the board of directors in 1961, was elected executive vice president in 1962 and named president in 1965.

In 1970 Burcham became chairman and chief executive, and held those positions until his retirement in 1977. He remained on the board of directors until 1985.

Burcham also served as a director of Irving Trust Co. and Western Electric Co.

He is survived by his wife, Zora, of Delray Beach, Fla.; a son, James, of Asheville, N.C.; his father, Arthur and a sister, Ruth Creaglow, both of Lancaster, Ohio.

Private services were scheduled for midweek in Lancaster.

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