Blanche Joiner Burkhalter
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Blanche Joiner Burkhalter, beloved mother and grandmother, died on her 91st birthday, Thursday, February 13, 2014 in Houston, Texas.
She was born near West Monroe, Louisiana, the oldest of five children to Morgan S. and Addie Johnson Joiner. She graduated from Gibsland High School and attended Louisiana Tech University, graduating in 1944 with a degree in Journalism, English, and Education. An excellent journalist, she was the first woman editor of the university newspaper. As a dedicated teacher, she taught English and other subjects in many cities during her career. She was a gracious and elegant lady, with a sharp intellect, ready smile, and caring nature.
Blanche met William V. Burkhalter, her husband of 52 years, when her family moved to Gibsland, Louisiana in fifth grade. They dated through high school, married in 1945, and enjoyed a 30 year career in the Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force. Blanche made a lovely home wherever her husband's career took them. There were six moves alone in their first year of marriage. As a journalist, she was fascinated by the people she met and places that they lived and was always eager to make new friends and learn new skills. When transferred to Guam with her husband in 1948 so she could teach English to Guamanian high school students, the students were delighted that she was interested in learning about their culture and included her in their gatherings and celebrations. She volunteered in military hospitals, became an active member of the Officers' Wives' Club, and was a vital partner in her husband's Air Force career. She loved to entertain and cook. After retirement, they lived in Ruston, Louisiana for six years then moved to Europe for nine years with his new career in the insurance industry. Blanche made the most of these years, traveling extensively, making wonderful friends, and enjoying all their new experiences.
She had one daughter, Donde, born in Boston in 1957. A loving mother and grandmother, she was always dedicated to her family and involved in school and afterschool activities. She enjoyed close relationships with her large extended family, including both her and her husband's brothers and sisters, and many nieces, nephews, and their families.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Col. William V. Burkhalter, her parents, her brother L.D. Joiner, and her sister Marie Joiner Merritt. Blanche is survived by her daughter, Donde Batten and her husband Daniel T. Batten of Bellaire, Texas and three granddaughters, Emily, Diana, and Caroline Batten. Two brothers survive her: William Travis Joiner of Alexandria, Louisiana, and Bill Joiner of Arcadia, Louisiana.
The family extends a special thanks to the staff at Holly Hall Retirement Community of Houston, where she lived for her last four and a half years, who cared for her with loving kindness and became good friends.
The funeral service was held at Bellaire United Methodist Church, 4417 Bellaire Boulevard, Bellaire, on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm., the Rev. Jim Flagg officiating. She was buried with her husband in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Friday, February 21. Those wishing to honor Blanche may make a donation to Bellaire United Methodist Church or Holly Hall Retirement Community, 2000 Holly Hall Street, Houston.
Published in Shreveport Times on Feb. 26, 2014