Esther Eugenia Weller Burkhard, 101, died Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 at Liberty Care Center in Liberty. Born Dec. 7, 1912 in Saint Joseph, Mo., she was predeceased by her parents, Philip P. and Hattie Williams Weller of Saint Joseph; and her husband, Fred J. Burkhard. Also preceding her in death were her sister, Eleanor Jackson; and a brother, Philip Sydney Weller. Esther worked alongside Fred as business manager in their Casey County News office for 28 years. She loved the people of Casey County and was pleased to make it her home since moving here in 1947. She grew up in Saint Joseph, attended the local junior college, transferred to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, majoring in early childhood development. She enjoyed working with children in the various orphanages, children's homes, and schools in Ohio and New York as part of Antioch's work-study program. She was hired at Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County, Ky. and served as teacher, counselor, admissions director and housemother. Fred was hired as printing instructor. They married and had the first child of the boarding school faculty. Esther was a member of AAUW, PTA, and Beacon Book Club, Cub Scout den mother, treasurer of Little People's Day Care, served as secretary of area homemakers, and was a 4-H Club leader. After retirement, she taught piano lessons in her home. She loved to travel, grow flowers, make juice and jelly, and study birds and wildflowers. She was the head genealogist for all sides of the family. She was crazy about the Space Program. She is survived by her children, Elanor Burkhard Brawner (Larry) of Elizabethtown and John P. Burkhard (Trudy) of Lexington; four beloved grandchildren, Neal F. Brawner of Jacksonville, Fla., Rebecca Burkhard Ratliff (Jonathan) of Louisville, Beth Anne Brawner Ahlhaus (Paul) of Shepherdsville, and Julie Burkhard Fritts (Jonathan) of Bethesda, Md.; four great-grandchildren, Ellie and Bennett Ratliff, and Maya and Hannah Fritts. Expressions of sympathy can be in the form of donations to Mt. Pleasant Church, c/o Shirley Land, 182 Jim Lee Road, Liberty, KY 42539. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 15 at McKinney-Brown Funeral Home in Liberty with Rev. Paul Patton officiating. Following the services, there will be a Celebration of Life Songfest at Mt. Pleasant Church on Ky. 70 West after the burial there. Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14. Pallbearers will be Paul Ahlhaus, Neal Brawner, Larry Griffin, Kevin Land, Marion Murphy and Dale Sellers.
Published in The Casey County News on Aug. 13, 2014.