Thomas Lee Burkhart Aug. 27, 1948 - Mar. 17, 2014 MISHAWAKA - Thomas L. Burkhart, age 65, went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 17, 2014. Tom was born August 27, 1948 in Elkhart, Indiana to the late James and Genevieve (Schorb) Burkhart. Tom was raised in Granger, Indiana and graduated from Penn High School in 1967. Following his graduation, Tom was called to serve his country in the US Army during the Vietnam War. Tom met his wife Shirley (Pletcher) while working at the Essex Corporation. They were married on October 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 3 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, Purdue University Boilermakers and the Boston Celtics, or sitting in the backyard with his wife, watching the birds and other animals in the yard as the evening passed by. Visitation will be held from 2-4 pm Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Chapel Hill Funeral Home in Osceola. Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Thomas J. Short at 10 am Monday, March 24, 2014 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 CR 4, Bristol, IN 46507. To leave condolences for Tom's family, please visit our website at www.chapelhillmemorial.com.
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Published in South Bend Tribune on Mar. 20, 2014