Jarrett Berg Burkholder
Jarrett Berg Burkholder, 15, of Elburn died suddenly, Monday, March 3,
2003, in an auto accident. An icy patch of road claimed Jarrett's heartbeat in
an instant but his life continues forever in the hearts of countless friends
and family who will never forget this remarkable young man.
Jarrett was born January 3, 1988 in St. Charles the son of Bob and Donna
(Berg) Burkholder. The family made their home in North Aurora until 1990
when they moved to the present family home near Elburn.
From his childhood, Jarrett poured himself into life with startling energy,
boundless dreams and studious determination. Like other boys, he loved
soccer, baseball and basketball but athletics were just appetizers in Jarrett's
gifted life. When he decided to take up in-line skating, he educated himself
on the Internet; bought plans and, together with his father built a half-pipe
and other ramps to hone his skills.
He began playing chess as an eighth grader and before the end of the next
school year was ranked as one of the top freshman in the state of Illinois.
He played against international masters on the Internet, took lessons from
champions and was poised to become one himself. Most recently he had
set out to learn break dancing. With a helmet, a polished floor and loud
music in the background, he was captured by a video camera as he
practiced continuously until mastering spin after spin.
Not intimidated by anything or anyone, Jarrett had also learned the value of
self-respect. He was especially proud of the physique he had built up in the
past year, muscles that rippled and a smile that was proud of it. Jarrett was
a self motivating achiever but not a loner by any means. He drew others
with him and enjoyed seeing friends achieve their goals, too.
Jarrett earned A's and A+'s in biology and algebra courses that were years
ahead of his class. He was ahead of his time in so many ways, and now he
is ahead of everyone. There is no doubt that he is still cheering for friends
and challenging the angels to the chess game of their lives.
He joins his paternal grandfather, Glen Burkholder, who preceded him in
death in 2002; and his brother Andrew, who followed him in death
He is survived by his parents; 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 and 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
and Diane Berg of Casselberry; a "plethora of cousins" and a community of
A combined memorial scholarship fund for Jarrett and Andrew has been