Joan Burkhalter

(Phyllis) Joan Burkhalter, age 94, passed away on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peori.

Joan was born on Nov. 7, 1927, in Freeport, to John C. and Wanda G. (Gore) Hastings and grew up in Winslow, Ill.  On June 26, 1949, she married Melvin F. Burkhalter in Freeport and together, they raised three children. He preceded her in death in 1989.

She is survived by their three children: John (Edith) Burkhalter of Seattle, Wash., Paula (Kevin) Martin of Midlothian, Texas, and Mary Kay (Mark) Gamage of Peoria; grandchildren Chris (Kelly) Burkhalter of Dearborn, Mich., Matthew (Sarah) Martin of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Aaron (Megan) Burkhalter of Seattle, Zachary Martin of Midlothian, Daniel Burkhalter of Olympia, Wash., Rebecca (Tobias) Karlowicz of Peoria, Jared (Jennifer) Martin of Midlothian, John Gamage of Chillicothe, Ill., Ben (Phuong) Burkhalter of Seattle, and Michael (Sarah) Gamage of Chicago; as well as 11 great-grandchildren and 1 foster great-granddaughter. 

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, and two sisters; Wanda Jean, who died in infancy, and Frances (Raymond) Martin.

After graduating from Winslow High School in 1945, Joan graduated from Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Freeport in 1948, having entered as a cadet in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps program. Over the years, she held several nursing positions in Freeport, Madison, Wis., Oregon, and Mt. Morris. She retired as Director of Nursing for Pinecrest Manor in Mt. Morris in 1988, having served there for over 26 years.

Joan and Mel were founding members of St. Bride’s Episcopal Church in Oregon, and she served in many capacities over the years on Bishop’s Committee, as Treasurer of the Episcopal Church Women, and as a Chalice Bearer. She was a past member of P.E.O. Chapter CU and Eastern Star.

Joan was a wonderful mother and actively involved loving grandmother. She cherished visits with her grandchildren and would fly across the country attending all her grandchildren’s high school graduations, Eagle Scout ceremonies, and weddings. Through the years she loved to golf, play bridge, bowl, deliver meals on wheels, and travel. Her sense of humor will be missed, but the family has many wonderful stories to share. The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the staff at Evergreen Assisted Living in Chillicothe and Lutheran Hillside Village for their loving care of Joan over the past five years.

Joan’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 11 a.m. at St. Bride’s Episcopal Church. A visitation will be held at Finch Funeral Home in Mt. Morris on Monday, June 13 from 5-7 p.m. and 1 hour prior to the funeral service at St. Bride’s. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Bride’s Episcopal Church or to Easter Seals Peoria.



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