Melvin W. ‘Mel’ Burkholder, 92, maintenance superintendent at Victor F. Weaver, garden railroad enthusiast

By on January 18, 2017

Melvin W. Burkholder, 92, formerly of Ephrata, went home to be with his Lord and Savior peacefully, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, at Landis Homes Retirement Community.

Born in East Earl Township on Jan. 30, 1924 to the late Michael W. and Emma (Weaver) Burkholder, he was the husband of the late Emma (Hurst) Burkholder for 37 years. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Sara Burkholder, in March 1978.

He was a member of Bethany Grace Fellowship, East Earl, where he was a song leader for many years. He was loved dearly by his family and friends and will be deeply missed.

Melvin was employed by the former Victor F. Weaver Inc. as maintenance superintendent for 34 years. After retirement, he owned a refrigeration business and worked as a consultant for Farmers Pride. He was on the board of the Tel Hai Camp for many years and was a member of the Gideons International. At Landis Homes, he was involved in the Garden Railroad Club, where he operated and repaired trains.

Melvin is survived by four daughters: Glenda, wife of Randall Witmer, of Lititz; Joyce, wife of Jay Weaver, of Lancaster; Gail Burkholder of Ephrata; Sharon, wife of Kevin Adams, of Lancaster; a stepson: Bob, husband of Debra Hurst, of Ephrata; three step-daughters: JoAnne, wife of Keith Weaver, of Reinholds; Cheryl, wife of Barry Wissler, of Ephrata; and Sandra, wife of Barry Martin, of Ephrata. He was blessed with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; as well as many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by five brothers: M. Loyd (Anna Mary Martin) Burkholder of Lebanon; Titus W. (Anna Sensenig) Burkholder of Gordonville; John W. (Alverta Rutt) Burkholder of East Earl; Leon W. (Vera Nolt) Burkholder of New Holland; Frank W. (Eva Good) Burkholder of East Earl; a sister: Arlene W. (Melvin) Horst of Cochranville; a stepmother: Anna (Rissler Martin) Burkholder of East Earl; a stepbrother: Noah (Marian Oberholtzer) Martin of Narvon; and two stepsisters: Mary (John) Martin of Narvon, and Ruth Wanner of Mohnton.

In addition to his parents and wives, he was preceded in death by a son-in-law: Bob Witmer; a grandson: Mitchell Witmer; great-grandson: Eli Eisenhour; two brothers: Raymond W. (Ada Kurtz) Burkholder, Weaver W. (Mabel Snyder) Burkholder; and a sister: Edna (Lloyd) Martin.

Services were held Jan. 14 at Bethany Grace Fellowship, East Earl, with Pastors Leon Shirk and Chris Smeltz officiating. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Melvin’s memory may be made to Tel Hai Camp, 31 Lasso Drive, Honeybrook, PA 19344-9261; or The Gideons International, 2295 Laurel Ridge Road, Narvon, PA 17555.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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