Betty M. Burkhart, 90
January 21, 1931 - February 16, 2021
In the early morning hours, on Tuesday, February 16th, Betty M. Burkhart, beloved mother, aunt, sister, “Gram”, great-gram, great-great-grammy, and friend, passed away in her sleep at the age of 90, after a valiant battle with cancer.
Born Melvina (a fact her siblings & grandchildren often poked fun at) on January 21, 1931 in Idamay, WV to Lazar & Rose (Tossone) Ivanovich; she was the eldest of 8 spunky children. Confirmed in the Catholic faith, she took the name Elizabeth, becoming Betty M. Ivanovich. In 1948 she graduated from Elizabeth High School in Allegheny County.
On February 10, 1951, she married the love of her life, Harold David Burkhart, formerly of Chambersburg, in a simple ceremony in Hagerstown, MD. Together, they settled in Lancaster County where they raised their 4 amazing children; 3 sons and 1 daughter – Michael J., David L., Rosemary E. (Darrell Leaman), and Bruce P., and parented many of their kids’ and grandkids’ friends along the way. A multitude of children have crossed paths with them; always leaving their home better than when they came there. Their powerful union held fast until Harold’s passing, in 1994.
Raised by her Aunt Catherine & Uncle Herb Ausburn, near Pittsburgh, Betty was taught to have a strong sense of civic duty and ambitious work ethic. In her younger years, she volunteered with her Aunt at their local Moose Lodge and American Legion. Locally, she volunteered with the Humane League of Lancaster, sitting on the Board of Directors as its former President, for a number of years. Most recently, she remained civically engaged by assisting as a poll watcher during local elections and volunteering with the Bird-In-Hand Fire Company until her health recently limited her ability to attend meetings. She was also a member of St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Lancaster City.
For over 40 years, Betty was employed with various government agencies in the state. These included working with L&I, the State Police, and last, the Housing Authority. She remained with the Easton Housing Authority until her family was able to convince her that retiring at the young age of 75 was acceptable.
Betty enjoyed antiques; opening and operating her own store, Burkhart’s Antiques, in Bird-In-Hand, since the late 1960’s. She was celebrated during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Renninger’s Antique Market, where she had maintained her booth for 5 decades; she was interviewed as their “last original vendor.” For 50 years, you could always find her on Sundays at her double booth in Adamstown; she only retired from her space there in the latter part of 2017. Her family uses the term “Retirement” very loosely, as Betty, up into December, still maintained antique booths and showcases at Heritage Antiques Center, to remain active. Her quick wit and sassy personality will be sorely missed by many colleagues and friends from, “The Antiques Capitol” in Adamstown.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Harold, her sons, Michael & Bruce, her brothers, Herbert & Rocco, and her sisters, Martha & Rosetta.
The strength Betty has shown throughout her whole life was never more apparent than in the time following her diagnosis in 2019. In typical fashion, she ignored the prognosis given by doctors, blessing her family with more than a year longer than we were told to expect. She was a force to be admired; holding on by sheer will because she knew that she was needed; Tuesday morning, she decided she was ready to join her husband and sons in the next life. Betty truly was the matriarch of her family and none will miss her more than us.
Betty leaves behind a legacy of her love; she is survived by 2 of her children, David & Rosemary both of Lancaster, & her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, of Mathias,WV, whom she loved as if she were her own. Also, surviving are 3 siblings; her brother Lewis & wife, Bonnie(OH), and sisters, Cass born Milena (Chicago, IL), and Mary(Topton, PA).
Her 8 grandchildren: Nicole, Donald, Jessica, Eric, Jennifer, Brandi, Tim, & Michelle; have created an army of 23 great grandchildren: Caroline, Henry, Brittany, Kailey, Jason, William, Ashlee, Austin, Cassie, Kenny, Jazlyn, Dakota, Madison, Mikel, Tyler, Shy, Jimmy, Natasha, Monica, Brent, Tori, Angel and Adin as well as 5 great-great grandchildren and a multitude of nieces, nephews, and cousins whom adored her.
No formal services will be held at this time. Betty wished to be cremated and her ashes placed with her husband and son in the family vault at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lancaster. She requested a Celebration of Life be held at a later date.
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Condolences to the Family
March 20, 2021
Sorry to hear about your loss, I knew Betty since I was a kid. Ran around with all of her childern. I am living in Delaware now and did not know about her passing until I met with a mutual friend Bob Ashby today. Used to run into Betty and Rose at Reddiners antiques. Bring back lots of good memories. Betty was a great lady. Take care Gary Butz.
March 14, 2021
Hi Rose, I don’t know if you remember me, but worked with your Mom at the Housing Authority and I was at her retirement party. I was sorry to hear about the passing of your on, heaven has gain a feisty one and she will definitely keep everyone on their toes. It was a pleasure working with Betty, smart as a whip and new her antique business. She will truly be missed. I pray God’s Blessings and comfort for you and the family.
March 11, 2021
Hi Rose and Darrell and other relatives
I have fond memories of seeing your mother at auctions and flea markets. she always seemed so happpy and social at them, unless busy bidding. I have enjoyed getting to know both of you and her more personnally in late years thru Jim Morrison and the Christmas Center. I loved to share our mutual time (sometimes fustration with Jim’s pricing delays) at the Christmas Conventions. My sincere sympathy for your loss. Heaven has a new pet caretaker across the rainbow bridge.
February 25, 2021
You are deeply loved and accepted in this family Grams. You meant so much to all of us, and whether you would’ve admitted it or not you treated us all so well. You treated Aunt Michelle, my Mom, Brent, Nicole, Cousin Jess, jenny, and so forth like your own child. You have been nothing but strong for us throughout your life, and you will be truly missed. I hope you’re making new memories with Pop Pop, Great Uncle Mike, and Grandpa Burkhart. May you all rest in loving and caring peace. Thank you for everything. Your life has changed us for forever and for the better. You were the best, Grandma Betty.
Tori(Seb) Harper (Great-Grandson of Betty Burkhart)
February 21, 2021
I am so sorry for all of your loss. Betty was one of a kind. She was always trying to keep all us kids on the straight & narrow she may have shaken her head at me a few times but always welcomed me back in her home as Michelle’s bestie. I am told even though I haven’t stopped in to see the family recently that she still asked about me & what I was upto over 30 years later. She will be missed. #gonebutneverforgotten
Shanna Fritsch (Cannoy)
February 21, 2021
So sorry for your loss I remember all the summer’s I spent with Aunt Betty and the times she used to spend with us when we had the farm. She is one of my favorite aunt. Love you aunt Betty Rest In Peace😇