Andrew Robert Burkholder
Andrew Robert Burkholder, 17, of Elburn passed away on Wednesday, March 5,
2003, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva, where he was taken following an
auto accident Monday afternoon, March 3.
For two days, he fought silently from deep inside a coma. On Wednesday, he was
released from his battle but left behind the gift of life for several others. His
organs were donated to strangers; his memory to family and friends. His life
returned to the One who gave it, but his love remains forever in the hearts of all
who knew him.
Andrew was born on Feb. 15, 1986, in Aurora, the son of Bob and Donna (Berg)
Burkholder. By the time he was 3, Andrew was putting together 300 piece puzzles
and before kindergarten, he began reading spontaneously. He was gifted with an I.
Q. that allowed him to succeed with ease at many things. That same gift seemed
to bring with it a life-long battle with boredom. But Andrew was creative and
discovered ways to bring boredom to "life" with mischief.
Beginning with the first time he threw a baseball, Andrew loved playing the
sport. He enjoyed the camaraderie of T-ball even though every game ended in a
tie. When he was older, his fastball was legendary, and in one game, he threw 16
strikeouts out of 18 possible. His baseball dream ended in high school, but he
threw himself into playing golf and participated on the team for his entire four
years. In golf, he not only played the game well, he was the undisputed "charm
champ" on the golf course.
Andrew was also a young man with a taste for "class." Anything worth having or
doing was only worth it if it was the best. He was always gregarious. One cell call
and the yard was full of friends. Andrew also loved computer games as well, and
excelled when it came to matching wits with high speed Internet games. He
began playing Super Mario at 5 years old and was hooked from then on.
Wednesday, he left this life for a tee time on a heavenly course where he will
never miss a putt.
He is preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Glen Burkholder, who
passed away in 2002, and his brother, Jarrett, who died Monday, March 3, 2003, in
the same crash that claimed Andrew's own life.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his paternal grandmother, Jewell
Burkholder of Port Charlotte, Fla.; and maternal grandparents, Gale and Mary
Ellen Berg of Casselberry, Fla.; three paternal aunts and uncles, Bev (Bob) Paul
of Rochelle, Bill (Susan) Burkholder of Elwood, Jim (Joan) Burkholder of
Loganville, Ga.; six maternal aunts and uncles, Howard (Irene) Berg, of Spring
Hill, Fla., Alan (Veralee) Berg, of Phoenix, Ariz., Dennis (Avis) Berg of Rochelle,
Steve (Mary) Berg of Orlando, Fla., Ron (Liz) Berg of Algonquin, Diane Berg, of
Casselberry; many "cousins" and an endless amount of backyard friends.
Services were held on March 8 at 11 a.m. at Kaneland High School. Gary
Augustine, pastor of the Evangelical Fellowship Church in Elburn, officiated.
Interment followed at the Blackberry Cemetery in Elburn. A scholarship fund in
Andrew and Jarrett's memory has been established at Kaneland High School.