Meadville Tribune

Obituaries (Archives)

February 12, 2013

Alice Jane Gebhardt Burbank

HANOVER, Ind. — Alice Jane Gebhardt Burbank of Hanover, Ind., passed away Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, from congestive heart failure and the effects of late-stage dementia. She was 92.

The youngest of three girls, Alice was born to Carl and Donna Gebhardt in Meadville on Nov. 12, 1920. She went to school and lived there until she was a young adult.

She was an avid swimmer most of her life; at age 13 she became the youngest at the time to swim the length of Conneaut Lake, a distance of approximately three miles. She was a long-standing member of the American Lifeguard Association. Alice’s early working life was spent in the travel and transportation industries. She moved from Meadville to Charleston, S.C.; and eventually settled in Miami Beach, Fla. In her free time she went deep-sea fishing and spent time at the beach. She also enjoyed the music and nightlife of pre-revolution Havana, Cuba.

In Miami, Alice met Fred Svorcek of Chicago. They were married in 1950 and soon moved to San Francisco, where Fred was the general manager of a luxury hotel there. In 1953 they moved to the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, where they eventually owned two ranch properties. A son, Paul, was born in 1955; and a daughter, Ann Marie, was born in 1959. In 1960 the family moved to Missoula, Mont., where Alice began a long career with the U.S. Government, beginning at the U.S. Weather Service. Alice and Fred were divorced in 1972.

Alice found the love of her life in the fall of her years when she met and married Farnum Moss Burbank in November 1973. They both worked for the U.S. Forest Service Equipment Development Center at the time; and soon Farnum was promoted to a position with the Forest Service in Washington, D.C. Alice, Farnum and daughter, Ann, moved to the D.C. suburbs in the fall 1975. Alice became an accomplished technical writer and editor for the U.S. Army, working on several projects, including the development of the original Humvee vehicle.

In 1986, Alice and Farnum happily retired from their years of federal service, to a small house they had built in New Bern, N.C., not far from the coast. There, they dove headlong into retired bliss, nurturing flowers and trees, traveling, doing woodcarving and painting together and enjoying friends. Alice sang in the local choir for some time, and the two of them regularly delivered Meals on Wheels. They were members of First Presbyterian Church in New Bern. Farnum died in 1998.

Alice stayed in their home in New Bern until it became too much for her to care for. In 2002 she moved to an assisted-living facility in Bellevue, Wash., near her son; and in 2007 she moved to an assisted-living facility in Madison, Ind., to be near her daughter and grandsons. Alice was an accomplished bridge player until dementia prevented her from enjoying the game. She loved music and stayed interested in politics and current events as much as she could. She had a rare blood type and gave blood often when she was able. She was an inveterate beachcomber and loved the outdoors all over the United States. She had a soft spot in her heart for animals of all kinds and appeared to be conversant in several animal languages.

Alice is survived by her devoted daughter, Ann Marie Svorcek Rhoten and son-in-law, Drew, and their two sons, Taylor and Grayson, of Madison; son, Paul Svrcek and daughter-in-law, Adrienne Biondich, of Vashon, Wash.; as well as stepchildren, Alice Locke, Roy Burbank and Walter Burbank, and their families, all of the Seattle area; a niece, Dr. Donna Guenther of Richmond, Calif.; and a nephew, John Guenther of Meadville; and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Donna Finney Gebhardt; her husband, Farnum Burbank, who died July 19, 1998; and her sisters, Geraldine Williams and Virginia Guenther.

A private celebration of life ceremony will be held. The family will host an old fashion ice cream social at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Ann Marie and Drew Rhoten, on Thursday at 541 S. Indian Cave Road in Madison, Ind.

Cremation has taken place in Madison and interment will take place alongside Farnum, in New Bern Memorial Cemetery in New Bern, N.C., later in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Alice’s name to Prince of Peace Schools, Madison, Ind.; Our Hospice of Jennings County, Indiana; or the Audubon Society. Cards are available at the funeral home.

The family extends its deepest appreciation to the dedicated and caring nurses, staff and management at Thornton Terrace Assisted Living Facility in Hanover, Ind., who became part of Alice’s extended family and cared for her as one of their own. The family also thanks Our Hospice of Jennings County (Indiana), who were of great assistance and comfort at the end of Alice’s life. The family also thanks the staff at Morgan-Nay Funeral Home, in Madison, for its full-hearted care and attention to Alice and her family. Share your condolences at morgan-nay.com.

1
Text Only
Obituaries (Archives)
  • Joseph J. Tipping

    Joseph J. Tipping of 3427 Kibbler Road, Atlantic (East Fallowfield Township), passed away on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at Butler VNA Hospice. He was 67.

    April 24, 2014

  • Frederick Merle Smith

    Frederick Merle Smith, 98, of Monroeville, passed away on Monday, April 21, 2014.

    April 24, 2014

  • David L. Wescott

    David L. Wescott, 72, of Beavercreek, Ohio, passed away Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at his residence. He was born in Erie on March 14, 1942, to the late Norman L. and Helen M. Wescott.

    April 24, 2014

  • Irene Stainbrook

    Irene Stainbrook, 93, a resident of Wesbury United Methodist Community for the past four years, died Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the home. Born Jan. 31, 1921, in Richwood, W.Va., she was a daughter of John and Belva Phillips Thompson.

    April 24, 2014

  • Henry Vernier

    Henry Vernier, 90, of Meadville, passed away Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, after a short illness.

    April 24, 2014

  • Beatrice C. Deane

    Beatrice C. Deane, 85, of Rolling Fields, Conneautville, and formerly of Meadville and Titusville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

    April 23, 2014

  • Richard Lee Dietz

    Richard Lee Dietz, 59, of Saegertown, passed away Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Meadville Medical Center.

    April 23, 2014

  • Karl M. Myers

    Karl M. Myers, formerly of Meadville, passed away on Friday, April 18, 2014, at Snyder Memorial Health Care Center, Marienville.

    April 23, 2014

  • Richard (Dick) Lee Brown

    Richard (Dick) Lee Brown was born in Meadville to Frank and Betty on Jan. 15, 1947. Dick departed this life at the age of 66 on Monday, April 21, 2014, to join Jesus Christ his Savior. He died at home in Peterstown, W.Va., after a long decline in health due to diabetes.

    April 23, 2014

  • George William Wolfe

    George William Wolfe of Rogers, Ark., passed away Sunday, April 20, 2014, at age 90. He was born in Evansville, Ind., on Jan. 30, 1924, a son of the late George F. Wolfe and Gizela C. Wolfe.

    April 23, 2014

  • James R. Zakostelecky

    James R. Zakostelecky, 66, of Conneautville, died peacefully Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Marquette Hospice House. He was born April 8, 1948, in Cleveland, Ohio, to the late James E. Zakostelecky and Lucy A. Godinich Zakostelecky. He graduated from Linesville Conneaut Summit High School in 1966 and married Rebecca Moyer in 1969.

    April 23, 2014

  • Henry Vernier

    Henry Vernier, 90, of Meadville, passed away Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, after a short illness.

    April 23, 2014

  • Charles D. Burkett

    Charles D. Burkett, 66, of 852 Market St., Meadville, passed away at home on Thursday, April 17, 2014, of natural causes.

    April 22, 2014

  • Michael Solomon

    Michael Solomon of West Homestead passed away peacefully at his home on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, at the age of 87. He was surrounded by his wife and family.

    April 22, 2014

  • Richard Lee Dietz

    Richard Lee Dietz, 59, of Saegertown, passed away Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Meadville Medical Center.

    April 22, 2014

  • Darwin C. Williams

     Darwin C. Williams, 84, of Conneaut Lake passed away on Sunday, April 20, 2014, at his residence.

    April 22, 2014

  • James F. Simmons

    James F. Simmons, 89, formerly of Saegertown and Randolph Street, Meadville, passed away Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Meadville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

    April 22, 2014

  • Glenn Stanley Maxwell

    Glenn Stanley Maxwell, 94, of Franklin, Ohio, died Friday, April 18, 2014, at his residence. He was born in Meadville on July 17, 1919, to the late Glenn and Florence Curry Maxwell.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ronald D. King

    Ronald D. King, 67, of Erie, passed away Saturday, April 19, 2014, at St. Vincent Hospital. He was born Sept. 5, 1946, in Erie, a son of the late Carl and Dorothy Marshall King.

    April 22, 2014

  • James R. Zakostelecky

    James R. Zakostelecky, 66, of Conneautville, died peacefully Sunday, April 20, 2014, at Marquette Hospice House. He was born April 8, 1948, in Cleveland, Ohio, to the late James E. Zakostelecky and Lucy A. Godinich. He graduated from Linesville Conneaut Summit high school in 1966 and married Rebecca Moyer in 1969.

    April 22, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks