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Lisa Confer-Burkholder, age 50, of Fairview, passed away peacefully in her home, during the a.m. hours of Monday, January 13, 2014.
Born on June 5, 1963, and raised in Girard, she was the only child of Albert "Poppy" and Alice Gido Grignol. She had recently beaten breast cancer
, for a second time, in late 2013, and was set to begin chemotherapy to finish the process.
Lisa was a strong-willed family woman, above all. She enjoyed spending her free time traveling, attending summertime concerts, participating in the Lake Erie Mustang Owners Club (LEMOC) events, and being active with her loving husband of 28 years, Richard Burkholder. She loved watching her son Kevin play football, but was most proud of his academic and personal accomplishments off the field. Lisa also relished in bragging about, and spending as much time as she could, with her first born, Eric.
A teacher by trade, her goals were to make an impact with her students. She took pride in being an educator and wanted to see each of her students grow to be their best. Lisa knew education was a pathway to success and held herself accountable to each student she served, both inside and outside the classroom. She held an undergraduate degree and an MBA from Gannon University, in Erie.
Her life was tough and she didn't have much growing up, but she never felt sorry for herself and always pushed forward, against the odds. As a single mother, just divorced, she worked several jobs and put herself through school in order to provide the best living she could for her and Eric. She demanded excellence from anyone she crossed paths with, including herself, and anyone who came in contact with her couldn't help but take that trait away with them. She was a woman of family, character, charity, education, and pride – all of which she wore on her sleeve.
Lisa is survived by her husband, Richard Burkholder, two sons: Kevin Burkholder, and Eric Confer and his wife Angela; three stepchildren: Shawn, Ryan, and Kimmi Burkholder; and her in-laws Donald and Mary Jane Burkholder. She had many beloved local and distant relatives and spent much time with them during her travels, and would wish she could have said a personal goodbye to each. She also leaves behind two of her best friends: her beloved golden retrievers, Willie and Summer, who helped her beat cancer twice, and provided therapeutic comfort service in the community, as therapy dogs, under her training.
She will be greatly missed, not only by her family, but by the Erie community. We love you, Lisa. You have forever made everyone you came in contact with better. The world lost a real-life hero.
Friends may call at the Burton Funeral Home, 525 Main Street East, in Girard, on Thursday from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m., and attend a funeral service on Friday at 10 a.m., in Burton's All Faiths Chapel. Memorials may be made to Lakeshore Fire Department, 5310 West Lake Road, Erie, PA 16505 or to Therapy Dogs United, 1940 West 8th Street, Erie, PA 16505. You may send condolences at www.Burtonfuneralhome.com
Published in the Erie Times-News on Jan. 15, 2014