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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Faith Mafalda Kellams Burcham

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Faith Mafalda Kellams Burcham, whose life had been dedicated to the daily support of others, died October 26, 2010 at the Village at St. Edward in Fairlawn, Ohio.

Age 91, she was the wife of retired pastor Walter C. Burcham, married March 17, 1940. To this union were born Joy and Janet. Faith was a member of the Walnut Grove Churches of God. Faith was born May 8, 1919 in Dubois County, Indiana, as the second daughter of Isaac and Julia Adelaide (Newton) Kellams.

Faith met her future husband, Walter, at the 1939 Bloomfield Halloween Festival, and they were married five months later. Mrs. Burcham moved extensively throughout Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio as her husband managed Kroger stores for fifteen years, worked for Western and Southern Insurance Co for five years, then pastored Churches of God in Indiana and Ohio for many years.

A lifetime member of the Churches of God Women's Christen Council (WCSC), Faith Burcham served as president of the Indiana organization, secretary of the national WCSC, and president of her local WCSC. She was a member of ministerial Wives' Association. A devoted Sunday School superintendent and teacher, she believed her calling was to teach and work with young married couples. She also worked with the youth as a state sponsor of their organization, CGYA; she was a church youth director, teacher and youth camp worker for several years.

Faith was active her entire life as a seamstress (taught by her own mother who was a professional for many years), household organizer, and non-professional but a full-time nurse for over twenty years. Her vegetable and flower gardens attracted the attention of all passers-by. Her hand-braided rugs relay the long-term history of the family through the fabrics used in them.

Walter and Faith raised two daughters who were encouraged to be honor students throughout high school and college. She supported her children by stressing the importance of education and being present at all activities in which they participated. She also reminded them to study and be involved daily in music. This later culminated in college music scholarships for both daughters.

While rearing their daughters, Faith actively assisted her husband in each of his occupations. She worked part-time for Krogers and supported her husband in his Lions Club activities. An active member of Greene County Women's Club, she was the secretary for many years and received the Greene County Award for Republican Woman of the Year. She had performed with several vocal groups, including a mixed quartet that sang for area churches.

When Rev. Burcham's sudden heart attack in 1977 forced him to retire earlier than planned, Faith immediately shouldered the responsibility of returning to Bloomfield. She cared for him as well as her beloved mother, J. Addie Kellams, until her mother's death in 1985, which was succeeded by that of Walter's in 1999.

The Burchams' 50th anniversary open house at the Bloomfield First Baptist Church in 1990 enabled many of the Bloomfield community and others to enjoy an afternoon of memories.

Survivors include daughters, Joy B. Walker with husband, Larry D. Walker, of Burke, VA; Janet S. Litzel, of Fairlawn, OH; brother, Jack Kellams of Bedford; niece, Sghelda Cummings Haworth of Jasper; grandsons, Col. Ward Walker, USAF, with wife Renee of Swansea, IL; Wesley Walker with wife Cindy of Pembroke Pines; granddaughters, Jennifer Filomena with husband Chris of Copley, OH; Juliet Litzel of Powell, OH; Jill Litzel of Akron, OH; Jessica Antal with husband David of Copley, OH; great-grandchildren Carl, Katy, Peter, Stephen, Belle, Landon, Chase.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Walter, her parents, her sister, June K. Cummings, and her brothers, Lafayette, Victor, Dean, and Bill Kellams.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Jenkins Funeral Home in Bloomfield with the Rev. Jeffery Rocky leading.

Friends may call from 4 to 6 pm on Friday, Oct. 29 at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Walnut Grove Churches of God Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.