NEWTON ~ Marissa Faith Miao Burghart, 8, Newton, died Saturday, Sept. 20, 2003, at her home. She was born in Dianbal, Guangdong, China. She came to the United States to be with her forever family at 7 1/2 month of age. Marissa was a second grader at South Breeze Elementary School in Newton. She attended Weekday Bible School at Newton Bible School. She was a member of St. Marys Catholic Church, where she made her first communion shortly after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Marissa loved her life, her family, the Lord, the color purple, horses, art, school and all Gods creatures great and small. She loved everyone she met and was a blessing to all those who met and loved her. She will always be a "shining star." Survivors include her mother and father, Steven M. and Kimberlee A. Burghart, Newton; two brothers, Justin Phillip Burghart, Newton, and Alexander Mark Burghart, Newton; two sisters, Grace Marie Zengguang Burghart, Newton, and Jade Kathryn Lian Burghart, Newton; grandfather, John Willett, Hastings, Minn.; grandmother, Connie Willett, Newton; grandmother, Dorothy Burghart, Topeka; great-grandparents, Raymond and Celeste Meis, Junction City; and great-grandmother, Margaret Willett, Topeka. Services will be at 10 a.m. today at St. Marys Catholic Church in Newton. Burial in St. Marys Catholic Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital "Memorial and Honor Program-Brain Tumor Research," Newton Healthcare Foundation, "Marissa Burghart Art Scholarship Fund," Half the Sky Foundation, "Marissa Burghart Dianbai Orphanage Fund" or to His Kids Ministries, Inc., "Orphan Relief and China Adoption," sent in care of Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton.
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Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Sept. 23, 2003