December 3, 2013


NOV. 4, 1931 — NOV. 30, 2013

The Oskaloosa Herald


Marguerite Marie Burch, 82, of Oskaloosa, died Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at the Pella Hospice Comfort House in Pella. 

She was born Nov. 4, 1931, in Oskaloosa, the oldest of nine children born to John and Opal Keeran Fleener.  Mert worked as a cashier in the concession stand at the old Rivola Theatre in Oskaloosa.  Later she worked as a cashier at the Rivola, Mahaska and Princess Theatres in Oskaloosa.  She graduated from Oskaloosa High School with the class of 1950.  Following graduation, she went to work at Montgomery Wards in Oskaloosa as a credit manager.  On April 14, 1952, she was united in marriage to Walter Burch at St. Mary’s in Oskaloosa.  In 1975, she took a job with the Oskaloosa Water Department, she retired from there in March of 1994.  In retirement, she enjoyed traveling and collecting antiques.  She delighted in spending time with her family especially her great-granddaughter, Zoe.  Throughout her life, Mert was the caregiver to many of her elderly and ill family members, she took it upon herself to see they received the care they needed.

Her family includes her husband of over 61 years, Walter Burch, of Oskaloosa; two daughters and their husbands, Mary Ann and Jim Warren, of Dawn, Texas, and Norma Jean and Russell Vander Veer, of Harvey; six grandchildren, Krista (and Joe Jr.) Hnizdo, Dr. Melissa Warren, Heather (and James) Hilliard, John Warren, Rusty Warren, and Jeff (and Shannon) Long; three great-granddaughters, Zoe Long, Bryn Long and Riley Hnizdo; a sister and her husband, Linda and David Walker, of Delta; a brother and his wife, Ron and Susie Fleener, of Oskaloosa; three sisters-in-law, Linda Fleener, of California, Helene Fleener, of Rose Hill, and Mary Lou Fleener, of Des Moines; a very close friend and her husband, Judy and Greg VanRees, of Oskaloosa; and many nieces and nephews.

Mert was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Bill Fleener, Larry Fleener and Jerry “Tubby” Fleener; and three sisters, Marilyn Amber, Judy Baker and Patti Maxi.

Graveside funeral service and burial will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 11 a.m. in the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa with the Rev. Jeff Belger officiating.  A procession will form at the Bates Funeral Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday for those wishing to go to the cemetery.  The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.  Visitation will begin Monday after 1 p.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel and the family will be at the funeral chapel from 5 to 7 Monday evening to greet friends and relatives.  Memorials may be made to the Oskaloosa Honor Guard.

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