MISHAWAKA — Thomas L. Burkhart, 65, went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 17.
Tom was born Aug. 27, 1948, in Elkhart to the late James and Genevieve (Schorb) Burkhart.
Tom was raised in Granger and graduated from Penn High School in 1967. Following his graduation, Tom was called to serve his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Tom met his wife Shirley (Pletcher) while working at the Essex Corp. They were married Oct. 18, 1969.
Tom was employed for many years as a truck driver for several trucking companies in South Bend and retired 5 years ago.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Shirley, and their children, Shelly (Dana) Hill of Osceola and Scott (Tammy) Burkhart of Elkhart. Also surviving are three grandchildren Brandon Lee Burkhart, Sydney Ann Marie Hill and Jenna Lin Burkhart. Tom is also survived by his siblings, Ron (Jewel) Burkhart and Debbie (Tim) Erickson, both of Mishawaka. His mother-in-law, Dorothy Pletcher, survives as well.
In his younger years, Tom enjoyed playing basketball with his co-workers and playing the drums. Tom was a devoted Christian and had unfailing faith in the Lord.
Throughout his illness he kept a positive outlook on life, and was an excellent influence on his children, grandchildren and those with whom he came into contact. Tom was very involved with his family, especially his grandchildren’s sporting events.
He enjoyed reading the Bible daily, listening to southern gospel music and listening to old hymns. Many evenings were spent watching sports — especially the St. Louis Rams, the Purdue University Boilermakers and the Boston Celtics — or sitting in the backyard with his wife watching birds and other animals in the yard as the evening passed by.
Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home in Osceola. Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Thomas J. Short at 10 a.m. Monday, March 24, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, with interment and military honors to follow in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola.
Tom was also a longtime member and elder of Elkhart East Christian Church. In his memory, donations may be made to the church at 21851 C.R. 4, Bristol, IN 46507. To leave condolences for Tom’s family, please visit our website at www.chapelhillmemorial.com.