COLUMBIA, S.C. - A memorial service celebrating the life of Lois Brooks Burkhalter, 89, will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2012 at Bethel United Methodist Church, 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia. The family will receive friends following the service at the church. Mrs. Burkhalter died April 21, 2012 and will be remembered as a woman of great faith who possessed a creative and encouraging nature and a lively wit. She was the daughter of the late Robert Alston and Ava Edwards Brooks of Siler City, NC. She was a graduate of Pfeiffer College in NC and was a legal secretary for much of her professional career. Lois moved to Columbia in 1960 and became very active in civic and charitable organizations, serving on numerous boards and agencies for many years. She was a published author and poet and her writing skills aided many causes. Lois was the Executive Director of the Columbia Free Medical Clinic during the critical early years of its development. She was an effective administrator and a gifted speaker who was able to raise public awareness and support for this program. A lifelong member of the Methodist Church, she served in a variety of ways and at every level of the organizational structure from local church to S.C. and Jurisdictional Conferences. She was elected to General Conference twice. From 1977-80, she was President of S.C. Conference United Methodist Women. This was an exciting and challenging period of change for the church and this organization. Her leadership style encouraged inclusiveness among women of faith across the state. She was selected Woman of the Year at Bethel UMC in 1995 and received the Herbert Hucks Award for Outstanding Service in Historical Preservation and Interpretation during the S.C. Annual Conference in 2002. Her involvement in and support of UMW and Church Women United continued until her death. Surviving are her daughter, Dr. Nancy A. Burkhalter of Augusta, Ga.; son, Dr. John Brooks Burkhalter of Long Beach, Calif.; and numerous others who were nieces, nephews, like family and kin of kin. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by brothers, Reverend Clyde Brooks of S.C., Ernest Brooks of Siler City, N.C.; sister, Bettye Beeker of Greensboro and Greenville, N.C. and her former husband, Roy G. Burkhalter, Jr. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Bethel United Methodist Church, 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia SC 29206 or a Gift in Memory given through United Methodist Women. Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.
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Published in The Augusta Chronicle on May 5, 2012