Dominican Sister of Peace Melinda Burkhart, 84, died on July 25, 2020, at the Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.
Sr. Melinda was born in Zanesville, OH, on July 27, 1935, to Ida Nau and Nicholas Burkhart. She entered the Congregation in 1957 and served God’s people for more than 60 years.
Sr. Melinda earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the College of Saint Mary of the Springs, now Ohio Dominican University. While serving as a teacher in Michigan, she also earned her Master of Education in Reading Education from Marygrove College.
Sr. Melinda taught elementary school students in Michigan, New Mexico, and Ohio for more than 35 years. In her personal annals she wrote: “In living the mission, there wasn’t a place or job that I didn’t like or get along. I loved every part of it. Education is tremendous and the children were wonderful and their families very supportive.” She used the “Workshop Way” with great success, giving her students a firm foundation to build on and a positive experience of school.
“It was a joy to share the ability that I had to bring children together as students to become mature students, she said. “Observe them until you find what was a natural talent in them and help them develop that talent. Teaching is not just about giving to someone else; it is a two-way giving; the student gives to the teacher just as much as the teacher gives the student.”
Holy Trinity Somerset, known as the “Cradle of Catholicity” in Ohio, was Sr. Melinda’s ministry home for thirty years. She taught at the Holy Trinity grade school and served as a home visitor, sharing the Eucharist to the home-bound parishioners. As a member of the Liturgy Committee, she served both the school and the parish. In 2010, the Holy Trinity Alumni and Friends honored Sister Melinda for her service to the school and parish.
Sr. Melinda entered a ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center in 2007. While she was not in the best of health, she maintained a grace and cheer that lifted the spirits of all she met.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Nicholas Burkhart and Ida Nau Burkhart, her brother, Leo Burkhart, and her sisters, Regina Dutro and Mary DeVol. She is survived by nieces and nephews.
A private Mass of Christian Burial was held on July 7 at the Columbus, OH, motherhouse. Sr. Melinda was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Melinda’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or submitted securely at oppeace.org.
To view a printable PDF copy of Sr. Melinda’s memorial, please click here.