Harold E. Burkholder, electrician, church leader

January 23, 2009|By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN

Harold E. Burkholder, a retired master electrician and active church member, died Jan. 15 at his Southwest Baltimore home of complications from a stroke. He was 77.

Mr. Burkholder was born and raised in Lancaster, Pa.

He was a 1948 graduate of East Lampeter High School and moved from Witmer Heights, Pa., to Baltimore in 1953 to help establish the Wilkens Avenue Mennonite Church.

Mr. Burkholder was employed as a master electrician for 49 years and 10 months by the Electric Motor Repair Co. in Baltimore. He retired in 2008.

One of his favorite tasks, family members said, was working on electric motors aboard ships anchored in the harbor.

"His goal was to retire after 50 years, and he nearly made it," said his wife of 57 years, the former Mary Jane Myers.

Mr. Burkholder held a variety of positions at the Wilkens Avenue Mennonite Church, including treasurer and trustee since 1978. He had been interim pastor from 1982 to 1995 and was a senior adviser for the past 14 years. He served on the board of the Mennonite Disaster Service and was regional director.

At his death, he was also serving on the boards of the Mount Clare Christian School and the Mill Creek Hunting Club.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Catonsville United Methodist Church, 6 Melvin Ave., Catonsville.

He is also survived by two sons, Michael Burkholder of Baltimore and David K. Burkholder of Woodbridge, Va.; two daughters, Ruth Ann Gochnauer of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Barbara Sue Liberto of Ellicott City; two brothers, J. Richard Burkholder of Goshen, Ind., and Charles A. Burkholder of Green Valley, Ariz.; 16 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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