BIRD CITY, Kan. - Irene I. Burkhalter, 93, of rural Cheyenne County, Kan., died Thursday (Aug. 21, 2008) at the Sarah Ann Hester Memorial Home in Benkelman.
She was born in Gaylord, Kan., to Robert and Elizabeth (Dowd) Conry on March 21, 1915, and moved with her family to Oberlin and then on to St. Francis, where she graduated from high school.
After graduation, she taught at schools in rural western Kansas, including St. Francis, and in Nebraska, including schools in Parks and Benkelman.
On Nov. 4, 1947, she was united in marriage to Arthur Dale Burkhalter in St. Francis. They made their home in the Big Timber community of Cheyenne County. She was a homemaker and also continued to teach school. She attended summer school for several years at Kearney State Teachers College where she received her Bachelor of Science degree. She utilized this degree expanding the minds of young kindergartners at the Benkelman Schools until she retired in 1986.
As an active citizen of her community, she served as a member of St. Joseph Catholic Churches in both Bird City and Benkelman, and was a member of the Altar Society in both parishes.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Elizabeth Conry; husband, Arthur Burkhalter; brother, Floyd Conry; sister, Berniece Conry; and grandson, Ryan Sloan.
Survivors include her children, Terry Sutton and husband, Clyde of Ness City, Kan., Cindy Sloan and husband, Wayne of Manhattan, Kan., Kevin Burkhalter and wife, Jeanette of Bird City, Kan.; sisters, Agnes Annen of Mount Angel, Ore., and Adeline Susa of Woodburn, Ore.; eight grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph Catholic Church with the Rev. Sean Redmond officiating. Inurnment will follow services at the Benkelman Cemetery.
A vigil and rosary service is today at 7 p.m., at the church. There will be no visitation or viewing.
Memorials may be given in her name.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.