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Obituaries » N. Laurence Burkhalther

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N. Laurence Burkhalther

June 30, 1920 - October 15, 2019

Burial Date November 23, 2019

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Maple Crest Senior Living, 700 Maple Crest Court, Bluffton, Ohio. Friends are invited to share memories and images at www.caringbridge.org/visit/laurenceburkhalter. Memorials may be directed to the Mennonite Disaster Service.

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Bluffton, Ohio
N. Laurence Burkhalter, age 99, died Oct. 15 at his retirement home in Bluffton Ohio. His last days were peaceful, with time for family members to say goodbye.
Larry was born in Mussoorie, India, June 30, 1920. The only son of Mennonite missionaries, Larry graduated from Woodstock High School and went on for degrees in music from Bluffton College, Northwestern University, and Ohio State University. He married the late Holly Mosiman Burkhalter in 1943.
Music was his life. He began playing violin in elementary school and stopped performing publicly in his early 90s. He played with the Ohio State University Orchestra, where he served on the faculty, and served as concertmaster of the Central Iowa Symphony, following retirement.
He was principal violist with the Columbus Symphony and violist with the Hughes Quartet; in Iowa he was principal violist with the Des Moines Symphony and violist with the Ames Piano Quartet, which he co-founded at Iowa State University, where he served as department head and on the faculty. He was a music director, conducting orchestras in Lima, Ohio; Fort Dodge, Iowa, Iowa State University, and as a guest conductor of the Taipei Symphony in Taiwan.
He was a choir director, leading singers at Pandora Mennonite and Worthington Presbyterian Churches in Ohio; and the Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames, Iowa.
He was an educator and composer, specializing in string music for beginners. His five children have memories of playing his string arrangement of the Nutcracker Suite’s “Clowns and Acrobats” on various living room occasions. An artist and photographer, Larry carved, drew, and spent many hours in his darkroom in Ames, where he created lasting memories of growing up in India, the trips he and Holly took throughout Europe and Asia, and of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He began biking on India’s wooded trails and continued on Iowa’s bike paths, passing his love for the activity on to his children. In Ames, he was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Rotary International; in Bluffton, he was a member of the First Mennonite Church.
He is preceded in death by his infant son John Gareth, son-in-law John Fitzpatrick, and wife Holly. Survivors include Kathlynn Lockard (James) of Sycamore, Ill.; Karol Crosbie of Perry, Iowa; Gary Burkhalter (Betty) of Strawberry Point, Iowa; Holly Jo Burkhalter of Washington, D.C.; Ruth Bosley (Larry), of Cincinnati, Ohio, nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Maple Crest Senior Living, 700 Maple Crest Court, Bluffton, Ohio. Friends are invited to share memories and images at www.caringbridge.org/visit/laurenceburkhalter. Memorials may be directed to the Mennonite Disaster Service.

 

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