Gale Roger Burkholder, 74, of rural South Whitley, died at 5:06 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at Parkview Hospital on Randallia in Fort Wayne.
He was born Dec. 3, 1941 in Decorah, Iowa a son of Ernest J. and Dorothy (Wissing) Burkholder. His formative years were spent in rural Preston, Minn. He graduated from Harmony High School and obtained his Industrial Arts degree from McPherson College and his Masters in Education from Wichita State.
On Dec. 26, 1972 he married Barbara A. Wolfe in McPherson, Kansas where they resided until moving to their home south of South Whitley in July 1980.
Gale taught for 38 years between McPherson Junior High School in Kansas and Columbia City High School in Indiana from 1980 and retiring in 2001.
He led a life of service: service to God, service to family and service to his community. Each of which was evident throughout his life.
In 1986, Gale became an ordained minister and for 24 years served as a pastor of Pleasant View Church of the Brethren in South Whitley.
Service to the Lord and service to our community went hand-in-hand and he remained active through the Whitley County Ministerial Association, Whitley County Retired Teachers Association, South Whitley Elementary Mentor Program, Faith Christian Academy Board of Directors and as a Camp Mack volunteer well into his retirement in spite of his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2006.
Gale was a kind and gentle leader. He saw good in all things and in all people and continued to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved to serve to the very end. Gale was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a teacher, a preacher, a mentor and a friend. Most importantly, Gale was a sinner saved by grace through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Please join the family as they celebrate his life and legacy at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 7, at Cornerstone Grace Church, 7050 West 1000 South, South Whitley with visitation from 9:30 to 10:30. The burial will be in South Whitley Cemetery. Visitation will also be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.
Preferred memorials are to Cornerstone Grace Church or Alzheimer’s Association.