FLORENCE, Ariz. — Edna Lois (Hale) Burke, 92, of Florence, AZ, went to Heaven on Saturday, April 7, 2012.
Edna was born June 20, 1919, in Lincoln, Ill., to Thomas and Clara (Curry) Hale. She was the seventh of nine children, only six of whom lived into adulthood. Her sister, Marion of Tucson, Ariz., survives. She married Owen M. Burke on Dec. 25, 1940, and they ministered together in Nazarene churches in North Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, and California before traveling coast to coast as evangelists.
They had three children, Doretta (John) Allison of Florence, Ariz.; Sonja (Jerry) Smith of Mount Vernon; and Thomas (Vilma) Burke of Bellingham, Wash. They had an adopted daughter, Cheryl Janis of Woodstock, Ill.
Edna’s early ambition was to become a teacher, which she did at the age of 20 by earning a teaching certificate at Lincoln (Ill.) College. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Olivet Nazarene College in 1960 and earned a Master of Education at Purdue University in 1968. Her teaching career included elementary grades, high school English, and even a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-8. She completed her career in Lafayette, Ind., teaching fourth grade. In addition, she held many responsibilities as pastor’s wife, pianist, organist, Sunday School teacher, VBS director in the many churches she and her husband pastored. Also, she served as a charming hostess to all who visited the parsonage.
In addition to her sister and children, she is survived by her 11 grandchildren and their spouses; 27 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. Known as the matriarchs of the Hale family, Edna and her sister enjoyed organizing semiannual family reunions for their families and the many other relatives who looked forward to spending time playing board games and visiting with “Grams.” She will be sadly missed, but will be waiting to welcome each one to her Heavenly mansion when God calls them Home.
In addition to her parents, Edna was preceded in death by her husband, Owen, in 2006; and her siblings, Helen in 1913, Kenneth in 1917, Gordon in 1918, Robert Paul in 1966, Forrest in 1968, James in 1969, and Thomas in 2002.
The family will receive guests at the Mountain View Funeral Home, 7900 E. Main St. in Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday from 5 until 7 p.m. A service celebrating her life will be held Thursday at 10 a.m., also at the Mountain View Funeral Home. Her pastor, the Rev. Kevin McGinnis, will officiate at both the funeral and the graveside service to follow. The family requests that memorial contributions be sent to Mosiac Church of the Nazarene Building Fund, Florence, AZ 85132 (mosiacmerrillranch.org). Edna was a charter member of this church where she worshipped God and became “Grams” to young and old.
Compassionate care by Hospice of the Valley made her last year one of activity and happiness in spite of diabetes and accelerating kidney failure. The family is very grateful for the loving people whose kindness and skills contributed so much to Edna’s quality of life and the family’s peace of mind. To leave a condolence, visit http://www.mountainviewfuneralhomeandcemetery.com/obituaries/ The Mountain View Funeral Home, Mesa, Ariz., is serving the family with all arrangements.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.