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Bill G. Burnworth, of Kimmell, passed away Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, at 4 p.m. surrounded by his loving family at his home on Harper Lake.
He was born on Dec. 13, 1930, in Noble County, and was the son of Melvin and Catherine (Buckles) Burnworth.
Mr. Burnworthâ€™s mother died in 1939, and in 1940, at the age of nine, he went to live with his aunt and uncle, Fred and Hazel (Buckles) Howard, who raised him. Bill graduated from Wolf Lake High School in 1949.
Bill began farming in 1941 weeding mint. His family moved to the home farm in Noble County in 1945, where he was a dairy and grain farmer.
On March 1, 1952, he married Phyllis Jean Campbell at the home of Rev. Marion Shroyer in Columbia City. From 1956 until 1982 they resided on the home farm, and in 1982 they moved to their present home on Harper Lake.
Bill loved his wife and family dearly, and enjoyed being with all of them and a part of their lives.
In 1979, Bill went into partnership with his daughter and son-in-law, Deb and Rick Zollars, buying a Ford dealership in Kimmell. In 1980, they built a new Ford dealership in Ligonier, where Bill worked as a salesman until 1995 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. He continued to work part time as his health permitted. Bill underwent aggressive chemo and radiation treatments, from which he never fully recovered.
Bill served on many boards and committees such as the Noble County REMC for 33 years, and of these 33 years, was chairman for 27 years. He retired from the board 9 years ago.
He also served on the Noble County SWCD board, West Noble FFA Ag Advisory Board, Washington Township Advisory Board, Washington Township 4-H Advisory Board, Precinct Committeeman, Election Board, Treasury of Crestview Building Corporation, Production Credit Association, Noble County Farm Bureau Board and was a member and served many offices of the Ormas Baptist Church. Bill also attended the Etna United Methodist Church Menâ€™s Fellowship coffee.
Bill enjoyed fishing, and he and Phyllis enjoyed traveling numerous places in the U.S. and Europe.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis of 61 years; his sons, Dan (Patricia Lough), Doug (Janelle Western) both of Kimmell, David (Dawn Winterton) of Lake Norman, N.C.; daughter, Debra (Rick) Zollars of Ligonier; grandchildren, Chad Burnworth of Seattle, Wash., Ryan Burnworth of Las Vegas, N.V., Anita Zollars of Kendallville, Sarah (Eli) White of Channahon, Ill., and Cole Burnworth, Lake Norman, N.C.; step-grandchildren, Nick Foster of Chicago, Tony (Jennifer Moore) Foster of Ellicot City, M.D., Chad (Angela Poppenfoose) Gebert, and Michelle (Rich) McNeil both of Kimmel, Laura (Mike) McGregor of Columbia City, Lauren Sward of Charlotte, N.C. and Rachel and Jordan Sward of Chicago; step-great-grandchildren, Hudson, Lily, Amelia, and Camden Foster, Camden Foster, Carl Hartwell, Chloe and Cassandra Gebert, Lindsey, Ashleigh and Makenzie Hoskins, Jacob McGregor, and Kierra McNeil; his brother, George Burnworth of Columbia City; and two sisters, Luella (Shively) Ayers of Fort Wayne and Mary Catherine (Larry) Cox of Holland Mich.
Mr. Burnworth was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Lowell and Guy Burnworth and infant sister, Viola.
A funeral service will be held in Mr. Burnworthâ€™s honor Thursday at 10 a.m. at Yeager Funeral Home, 1589 Lincolnway South, Ligonier, IN 46767 with Pastor Dan Carlson officiating. Burial will be in Thorn Cemetery in Kimmell.
There will be a time of visitation on Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at Yeager Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Noble County American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718; Noble County Home Health and Hospice, 1836 Ida Red Road, Kendallville, IN 46755; or the Ormas Baptist Church.
The Yeager Funeral Home in Ligonier is assisting the family with arrangements. Online Condolences may be sent to the family at www.yeagerfuneralhome.com