Meryle I. BurkhartOctober 6, 1930 ~ April 21, 2017 (age 86)
Meryle Ilene Carrier Burkhart was born on October 6, 1930 at Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Earl and Louella Carrier. She was their second child. She Eventually had three sisters and three brothers. Her father was a row crop farmer for potatoes, beans, corn and row crops. Meryle attended country schools until high school when she lived in Scottsbluff with friends during her High School days.
Her family became members of the Church of the Nazarene when she was in High School, which eventually lead her to enrollment at Northwest Nazarene College (now University) in Nampa, Idaho. As a student she became active in student affairs. In the spring of her freshman year at NNC she met Peter Burkhart who was a College Junior, and they began to court. Two years later on August 25, 1949 they were married at her home church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. They continued their college attendance until Peter graduated in 1950, and Meryle a year later in 1951.
They had the privilege of living in the College’s Vetville Apartments which were constructed for married veterans returning from World War II service. As Peter, being a veteran, they were privileged to have the G.I. Bill of rights. Peter, when single received $75.00 a month, and when married, he and Meryle received $125.00 monthly. Hamburger was 25 cents a pound, so the $125.00 monthly stipend made living possible. My proposal to Meryle’s father was that if he paid her college expense, I would pay her living and food expenses. He agreed!
Upon Peter’s graduation, and Meryle’s one more year of school, they obtained summer employment on a Forest Service Fire Look Out in what is now the Frank Church Wilderness Area. The cabin was 35 miles from the end of the mountain road. We were taken by horse back to our forest service position. It was a good honeymoon location. Upon Meryle’ graduation a year later we moved to Seattle, Washington to attend the University of Washington. Our first son, Daniel Crosley, was born while we were in Seattle.
Our next assignment was to take a Home Mission beginning church pastorate in Central Washington at Wapato, Washington. It was an exciting experience. We started with 8 members which included two little boys, and concluded five years later with a church full of people, and a family of two sons and two daughters.
Our next assignment was a struggling church at Ellensburg, Washington. One more son was added to the family at Ellensburg. Both of us felt called to be missionaries. The invitation to be interviewed came in January 1962. Our fifth child, a son, was just being born. Dr. George Coulter was then World Mission secretary. Upon hearing this Dr. Coulter said “hang him on a nail someplace and come back to Kansas City (place to be interviewed), and we’ll see about your becoming missionaries.” We were accepted and assigned to the British Colony of British Guiana on the north coast of South America bordered by the Caribbean Sea.
We spent 10 years in Guiana. The Colony became the independent nation of Guyana in 1966 after a troubled conflict among the five racial groups of the Colony. Our second term in Guyana ended up with most of the white people being expelled from the country.
Our next assignment was to pastor a church in Nampa, Idaho. It began with the lively Franklin Road Church in North Nampa, which we at first understood it needed to be relocated. The relocation resulted in today’ Karcher Church. From the Karcher Church we re-entered missionary service. This time to Manila in the Philippine Islands.
Meryle’s participation was to be a strong supporter of the church. She taught Sunday School classes, played the piano, welcomed the people to services, and did everything else that needed to be done.
We now want to pay tribute to her position as mother, wife, and sweetheart. As a mother of five children—three boys, Dan, Jim and Philip-- and two girls, Sandra and Janet. Her five children are now grown and married and are very contributive to their communities, to their home, their mother, and their associates. Whether in the States or Overseas, the five of them were leaders. The five of them, for part of their education, were students at NNU.
As a sweetheart she shown as a beautiful lady, a model to all she lived with, and an example of a true friend. During our 67 years of married life, I never ironed a shirt, or washed a pair of pants. She was always the prettiest girl on the block. In most communities in which we lived, people would say, “She is the prettiest girl in the town.” As a wife, there was no better. We all --husband, family, friends, associates—admired and loved her.
One thing Grandma said was “you all can take a couple of days out of your schedule to come do what we need to do, then you can get back to our own schedules”. I hope as many of your families can come as possible. She thought it was important but in her regular way, she didn’t want to impose on anyone. She died with grace and dignity and in control of as many of the details of the process as she could control. I guess I’m just trying to honor her.
A memorial service will be Friday, May 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Karcher Church of the Nazarene, 2213 Karcher Road, Nampa, ID 83651 followed by a reception at the church. Private family inurnment will be at Idaho State Veteran's Cemetery in Boise.
Friends may donate to:
Hands of Hope Northwest by visiting http://www.handsofhopenw.org/ or to Northwest Nazarene University Scholarship Fund by visiting http://giving.nnu.edu/ . If you prefer to send a check to the scholarship fund, please mail checks to Northwest Nazarene University Scholarship Fund, 623 S University Blvd, Nampa, Idaho 83686 United States and in the memo or notes please specify "In Memory of Meryle Burkhart". If you should have any questions about donations, please contact Mark Wheeler: firstname.lastname@example.org.