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2607 Buffalo Road
Erie, PA 16510
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Mary Ellen Burger

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Mary Ellen Burger Obituary

Mary Ellen Burger, age 85, passed away peacefully, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at home, surrounded by her loving family. She was born August 13, 1928 in Corry, Pa., daughter of Paul Quentin Lines and Mildred Wilbur Lines.

Immediately following her graduation from Corry High School in 1946, she reported to the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., as a Stenographer. Later that summer, she married John Mitchell Burger, from Union City, Pa., on August 31, 1946, in Alexandria, Va. Mary Ellen lived in Wattsburg for many years, raising five children and caring for 27 foster children. She was an active member of the Wattsburg United Methodist Church, and was employed as a Tupperware Sales Manager and a Teacher's Aide at Wattsburg Elementary School. In 1979, Mary Ellen moved to Erie and became a faithful member of Wesley United Methodist Church, worked with the Visiting Nurse Association, as a Home Health Aide, continuing to volunteer with Hospice for more than 15 years after her retirement. Her dedication to her patients and their families led to recognition by the United Way.

Mary Ellen's pastimes included bird-watching, tending her flower gardens, re-sale shopping, cooking for and hosting large family gatherings, and faithfully volunteering for church functions. She was especially active with her Bible Study Group, and was greatly admired for her steadfastness, generosity and love. Nothing was more important to her than her relationship with God and her family. At her core, in her heart, it was her role as wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother in which she felt most blessed. Since 2003, she had presided as Grande Dame over four generations of Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a group of thirteen women, ranging in ages from 6-85 years. Her life's work has served as an exemplary role model of strength, spirituality, confidence and independence.

Mary Ellen is survived by her sister, Madalyn (Howard) Mowers of Frankfurt, N.Y.; four daughters, Rhonda Kay (Victor) Lipinski of Louisburg, N.C., Noreen Rae Smith and Renita Jo Burger, both of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Brenda Jon Burger of Erie, Pa.; and one son, Michael Clark Burger (Wanda) of Hendersonville, N.C. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren; a special forever Ya-Ya sister, Eileen (Bob) McFarland of Fredericksburg, Va.; and numerous nieces and nephews, with extended family in New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado and Arizona. Her beloved cats, Furby and Holly are in the loving care of her daughter and granddaughter in Ann Arbor, Mich.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, John, and her brother Quentin Paul Lines of Minnesota.

Friends and family are invited to viewing at the Dusckas Funeral Home, Inc., East, 2607 Buffalo Road, on Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 3308 South St., on Saturday at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mary Ellen's name, to one of her favorite charities, A.N.N.A Shelter, 1555 East 10th St., Erie, PA 16511, Great Lakes Home Care & Hospice, 1700 Peach St. Ste. 244, Erie, PA 16501, and The Refuge, 1027 East 26th St., Erie, PA 16504. The family wishes to thank her hospice nurse, Tom Iorio, for his care. To send condolences, visit www.dusckasfuneralhome.com.

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Published in the Erie Times-News on June 19, 2014
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