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Jessie L. "Shona" Burkart

Obituary
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July 22, 1925 - July 28, 2013 GRANGER - Jessie L. "Shona" Burkart, age 88, of Granger, Indiana, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 28, 2013, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. Shona was born in Inner Leven, Methil, Fife, Scotland, on July 22, 1925, to the late James and Helen Ferguson. At the age of eighteen, Shona learned Morse code and was selected to be part of the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force's Y Service, which was the British organization that intercepted and decoded German messages during World War II. She worked at various listening stations throughout the war, and the British government recently awarded her with a distinguished medal for her contributions to the war effort. While on leave from the war, Shona met her husband, Anselm Severin "Burk" Burkart, at a dance in Edinburgh. Burk continued to send Shona flowers from Germany after their initial meeting, and impressed by his tenacity, Shona became a British war bride in 1947. She joined Burk in his hometown of South Bend, where Burk subsequently became the Executive Vice President at First Source Bank. Although Shona eventually became an American citizen, remnants of her cheerful Scottish brogue could always be heard in her eloquent diction. Burk and Shona raised their seven children on South Bend's northwest side, while simultaneously running a small business from her home. Anyone who met Shona instantly realized that they were in the presence of an exceptional lady. She carried herself with tremendous poise and always insisted on putting the needs of others ahead of her own, volunteering for over forty years at the Christ Child Society, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, and the Rosary Altar Society of Holy Cross. Shona is remembered for her devout commitment to her Catholic faith, her regal demeanor, and her unconditional love that she showed to her family. Shona was preceded in death by her husband, Burk, and her two sisters, Kit and Helen. Surviving are Shona's seven children, Bruce (Cindy) Burkart of South Bend, Helen Burkart Presser of Fort Wayne, Cathie (Stephen) Miller of Muncie, Valerie (Doug) Schmitt of Battle Ground, WA, Angela (Tim) Dennig of Granger, James (Tracy) Burkart of Mishawaka and Philip (Amy) Burkart of Murrieta, CA; her fourteen grandchildren, Bruce Burkart Jr. and Amy Utz; Rich, Steve, John and Phil Presser; Josh, Jeremy, Jeff and Jacob Miller; Jessica and Jamie Dennig; David Burkart; and Severin Burkart; and her twelve great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, August 1, in Saint Pius X Catholic Church, Granger, with Msgr. William Schooler officiating. There will be visitation at Welsheimer Family Funeral Home, 17033 Cleveland Rd. in South Bend, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. today, July 31st. In lieu of flowers, the family request that contributions be made in memory of Shona Burkart to Christ Child Society of South Bend, where she served as a past president, at P.O. Box 1286, South Bend, IN 46624. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at www.welsheimer.com.
Published in South Bend Tribune from July 30 to July 31, 2013
Funeral Home
Welsheimer Funeral Home North
17033 Cleveland Rd South Bend, IN 46635
(574) 272-2244
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