Mary Elizbeth Burkholder

In the arms of an angel and on butterfly wings, Mary Elizabeth Burkholder, beloved wife, mother, and friend ascended into Heaven on May 2, 2022. She will now rest, laugh, and love in Heaven above with the angels. Our hearts are broken, though we know she has been reunited with her loved ones, including her son, Michael Burkholder.

Mary Elizabeth was admired by many as a beautiful woman, on the inside and out. Her youthful appearance belied her 82 years. Her sense of style was evident, she always dressed for the occasion, her hair, make-up, and nails perfect. Her love language was food. She loved cooking delicious meals for her family and friends for her whole life.

Mary Elizabeth endeared herself to people easily. Her beautiful smile and gentle nature naturally drew people to her. She was like a second mother to her “son” in-law Tim, with whom she shared a special relationship, her neighbors Tony and Wendy, and to many of her late son, Michael, and daughter’s childhood friends. She made the holidays, especially Christmas, special for the whole family with her decorations and meals. She shared many things with her family, one of which was the love of orange soda with her great-grandchildren, Colton and Ariel. When they came to visit their Nana, they were sure to enjoy one or leave with one for later.

Her home and her yard were a reflection of herself, beautiful in every way. She shared her love of nature with me, her daughter, finding the most solace working in her yard. There she created and nurtured beautiful arrangements, flowers and rose beds, roses being her favorite. I will forever think of you, Mom, when I’m in my yard, or anywhere in nature, admiring God’s creation; the perfect rose, in the song of the birds at my feeders, a beautiful butterfly, in the change of seasons, and when I spot your favorite birds, the chick-a-dee and the hummers. You always called me your angel on earth, now you are mine in Heaven. I will always be your “Baby Duck”. Rest now Mom, you deserve it.

Mary Elizabeth was preceded by her parents, Raymond and Lucy Powell and her son, Michael David Burkholder.  She leaves to cherish her memories to her husband of 65 years, John Burkholder, her beloved daughter, whom she always referred to as “her angel”, Kimberly Wheeler, and her “son” in-law Tim Wheeler, grandchildren Amber Roane (Justin) and Mikaela Burkholder (Tommy), great-grandchildren Colton and Ariel Roane, brother Raymond W. Powell (Mary), niece Robin Maddox and her family, and special neighbors Tony and Wendy Schmidt.

A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. at the Newport News Church of the Nazarene.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the church.
If you would like to honor Mary Elizabeth in a special way, fix someone their favorite meal, stop to smell the roses and think of her, or you can also donate to Heritage Humane Society of Williamsburg ( or your favorite animal charity.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601. Floral arrangements may be delivered to the Newport News 

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