Deacon Joseph Leo Burkhart
Deacon Joseph Leo Burkhart, age 84, of Crestline, passed from this Earth early Monday morning, December 21, 2020 at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. He died of a lonely heart, missing his beloved wife, Sandy, who passed on February 17, 2018.
Joe was born May 30, 1936 in Crestline, Ohio, the son of the late Henry C. and Catherine E. (Schauff) Burkhart. He lived his entire life in Crestline, having graduated from Crestline High School in 1954. Joe served his country in the United States Army with the U.S. Army Rifle Team in Grafenwohr, Germany during the Berlin Crisis from 1958-1962. He married Sandra L. Apger on July 3, 1960. They had one son, Shawn Burkhart, and one adopted son, Christopher Burkhart.
Joe was a devout Roman Catholic and was ordained a Catholic Deacon in the Diocese of Toledo on May 22, 1976. He served as a Deacon at St. Joseph Catholic Church since 1976 and organized the Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet, the only one in the area. In addition to his service to St. Joseph as a Deacon, he was very active as a lector, eucharistic minister, usher, server, and had overseen the church cemetery for many years. Joe was also an avid supporter of EWTN and was a life member of the Crestline Knights of Columbus. He spent his life serving others.
Joe was employed at Becks Bakery in Crestline, Ohio Steel Tube Company, and Kroger’s as a produce manager, prior to a 38-year career at the General Motors Ontario plant as a tool maker, retiring in 1995. After retirement he worked for Domino’s Pizza and Shenanigans both in Crestline and spent his remaining years serving his church, enjoying his family, researching his ancestors here and throughout Germany, and in prayer.
Joe, with his wife Sandy and his family, loved to travel to search for and collect Beanie Babies. They also enjoyed many trips to Amish Country, made and sold mini donuts at local fairs, and made candles for area craft shows.
Joe was dedicated to his family, always available to help anyone in need, and was humble, honest, and hard working. He was a man who did not need to try to do what was right- he always did what was right.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; a sister: Elizabeth; two brothers: Charles H. and Henry C. Jr.; and his wife of 57 years: Sandy. Surviving relatives are sons: Shawn (Nanette) Burkhart of Crestline and Christopher (Nanaho) Burkhart of Bremerton, Washington; grandchildren: Craig (Erica) Burkhart, Sarah (Nathan) Hiler, Sakura Burkhart, and Haruka Burkhart; great grandchildren: Ella Burkhart, Jaxon Hiler and Bexley Hiler; brothers: Thomas (Jeanne) Burkhart of Marysville, William (Barbara) Burkhart of Galion, James (Rose) Burkhart of Wooster, and Ernest (Linda) Burkhart of Jacksonville, Florida; sisters: Mary Lou (Charles) Marek of Crestline, Gladys Burkhart Henderson of Lakeland, Florida, Catherine Forman of Lakeland, Florida, Evelyn Buchanan of Ashland, Theresa (Thomas) Fisher of Lakeland, Florida and Irene (Dennis) Borgelt of Mansfield; and 22 nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are welcome on Sunday, December 27, 2020 from 4-6 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 331 N Thoman Street, Crestline, Ohio 44827. Joe’s Funeral Mass will be on Monday, December 28, 2020 at 2 pm at the church with Fr. Jeff Smith officiating. Joe’s burial will be private with his wife, Sandra, in the church cemetery at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the St. Joseph Catholic Church, 331 N Thoman Street, Crestline, Ohio 44827.
Care for Joe and his family is being provided by the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby.
Appropriate ways to express sympathy for those unable to attend may be done by leaving an online condolence at www.PenwellTurner.com or by leaving a comment on Joe’s obituary on the funeral home’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/PenwellFuneral.