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Sarah Katherine Burkhardt JAMES

Obituary Condolences

News Death Notice

JAMES, Sarah Katherine Burkhardt Sarah Katherine Burkhardt James died on August 21, 2014. She was born on March 21, 1924 in Hamilton, OH. Sarah was the daughter of Jacob and Emeline (Manrod) Burkhardt. Her grandfather, August Burkhardt owned a large farm on Eaton Rd hill where she spent many memorable days growing up with her older brothers John (Irma) George (Vera) and Warren and James Burkhardt all now deceased. Sarah married Dana Robert James on November 19, 1949 and enjoyed a life of farming with their children in Butler and Hamilton counties plus a short time in Indiana. "Bob" died suddenly on May 1, 1985. She is survived by her daughters Debbie Garver (Larry), Tari Grimes (Gary, now deceased) and Sarah aka Sallie Fritsch (Kevin). Sarah's grandchildren are Tracey Linkmeyer (Michael), Aaron Garver (Angela), Jamie Garver (Nicole), Dennis Spencer (Jessica), Matthew Grimes (Brittany), Jessie Grimes, and Craig Daniels (Katie). She also was blessed with 12 great grandchildren and two "adopted" members of the family Nick and Dodi Wozniak. Sarah is also survived by two sisters-in-laws Patricia Senour (Kenneth) and Fern Speicher, many nieces, nephews and cousins. Sarah was a member of the Reily Presbyterian church. but was also a charter member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Hamilton. Sarah was a proud graduate of Hamilton High School's Class of 1942. She went to work immediately after graduation at Mosler's Safe Company where she joined the company's women's basketball team and also became a member of the bowling league. She also worked at the Golden Years nursing home as a cook and later Reily school as a teacher's aide. She dearly enjoyed working with children and often wished that she had been able to go to college and become a teacher. She went to work for Miami University on March 22, 1972, and even had a small retirement in 1993. After her husband passed away, she decided, "I don't want to sit at home, even if my kids think I am crazy. "So she went back to Miami. She didn't fully retire from Miami until 2008 at the age of 84 working at the Shriver Center over 32 years. Hundreds of Miami University students, staff and administrators grew to love her over the years. Her influence was far-reaching. Sarah's interests extended beyond work. Sarah was a cofounder of the Oxford Farm Market, later the Talawanda Farmers' Market in 1976 serving as President and then on the Board. It was the leading market in the Oxford area for over 30 years. She served for 37 years as an active volunteer for the Butler County 4-H Program as President, served on the Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee, raised money for the 4-H endowment Fund (over $25,000), served on the County Extension Advisory Committee and as Secretary and President. She also attended the Ohio 4-H Volunteer Conference in Columbus and the North Central Regional Leaders Conference. She served on the Extension Advisory Committee and served as Secretary to the Extension Advisory. Sarah served as a 4-H leader for over 30 years influencing thousands of children, grandchildren, and parents over the years. One of her 4H members went on to be a VP of several States and while in FFA, traveled all over the United States. Her group was able to meet President Bush in recognition of their service. Kids have been influenced by her moral and ethical standards for generations and many serve in influential jobs and services statewide.In 1996, Sarah was awarded the Ed Zorn Award for outstanding dedication and service to the Butler County Extension Service. She was an active volunteer for the Farm City Tour for over a decade. In order to recognize outstanding volunteer 4-H Advisors, Sarah established the Dana Robert James 4-H Advisor Award in 1998 in memory of her late husband. In March of 2001, Sarah received the Ohio 4-H Volunteer Meritorious Services Award, nominated by a member of the Riley Township Commissioners. Only four people receive this prize each year in Ohio. In March of 2002, Sarah James was inducted into the 4H Hall of Fame of Ohio. Sarah was one of only three Butler County recipients of this prestigious honor since it was established in 1975. Besides 4-H, Sarah was an active member of the Butler County Farm Bureau since the 1960's serving on the Board of Trustees, a Lady Trustee, Council Chairman and Women's Chairman and served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Reily Township Farm Bureau. In 1997, she was awarded the Friend of Agriculture Award by the Farm Bureau. She was the originator of the Bureau's Ag in the Classroom Program, which became the model for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation's statewide program. She was recognized as the top membership worker in the Southwestern District. Sarah was a longtime participant in local, state, and national elections serving as a Reily Township Central Committeeman for the Democratic party and as a poll-worker and judge. She was on first-name basis with Township Trustees, County, and State office holders as well as our Congressmen. She worked with members of both parties to encourage qualified candidates to bring exceptional services to the county. Sarah was a member of the Reily Presbyterian Church since 1960 and served as an Elder. She taught Bible School and had served as Bible School Superintendent. She was active in fund-raising causes for the church including the Bicentennial Cookbook. She was a member of the Hamilton-Fairfield Chapter of the AARP serving as Board Chairman. Her influence raised the standard for programs and entertainment for seniors in the county. She regularly visits relatives and friends in area Senior Centers. Making sure the seniors of Butler County were treated with the best care was a priority for Sarah. Every Wednesday night she went to the Widow's Group, founded in Hamilton, to eat and enjoy a game of canasta. Her teammates Kathy, Ray, Vera, Ann, Lou, Dorothy, Marge, and Carol added a lot of joy to her life. Sarah loved sports and had season tickets to the Women's Basketball team at Miami. She followed all Miami sports and also loved the Cincinnati Reds especially Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto. She read the sports page every morning and watched every game on tv. She was more than her accomplishments. Sarah was a dedicated daughter, a loving sister, a devoted wife, and a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She worked in the schools as a volunteer for her kids and for her grandchildren. She helped innumerable children participate in becoming proud of their accomplishments through hard work and to aspire higher than their circumstances by working in 4H and other agricultural programs. Sarah was recognized for her attention to ethical standards in work, church, and the community. When you were with Sarah, she radiated respect and reflected her belief that people should be treated with dignity across all barriers, without pretense. She had an amazing memory and could recall names, children's names, birth dates and other odd facts of people she had known over her 90 years. Driving through Butler County, she could identify who had lived in what house and what had been on that site previously. She was a regular Butler County encyclopedia. When she met friends, she always greeted them with a warm smile and a big hug. She seemed to know everyone and ran into someone she knew wherever she went. She will be deeply missed by many people. Visitation will be on Wednesday, August 27 at the Ogle - Paul R. Young Funeral Home, 5086 College Corner Pike, Oxford, OH 45056, from 4-8 p.m. and an additional visitation on Thursday morning at the Reily Presbyterian Church 6370 Peoria Reily Rd in Reily, OH from 11-12 with funeral services beginning at noon. Burial at the Darrtown Cemetery in Darrtown, OH will follow. Condolences may be sent to www.oglepaulyoungfuneralhome.com.

Published in Journal-News on Aug. 24, 2014
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