- 91 years old
- Date of birth: June 25th, 1924
- Place of birth:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
- Date of passing: April 20th, 2016
- Place of passing:
Oakland, California, United States
Love Never Fails
In Memory of Ella Burkhalter
(My Aunt & Godmother)
Every now and then, God creates someone who possess the essence of Love which is displayed and given freely to others without expecting anything in return. My Aunt Ella was a chosen vessel created just for this reason. Her Spirit of Love, wisdom, and dedication towards giving and pouring into the lives of others was displayed in many exemplary ways. She was a Virtuous Woman whose children arise to call her Blessed, this was displayed by the way they nurtured and took care of her with so much precious love. Uncle Ray and Aunt Ella shared an endless love which was felt deep within the hearts of all who witnessed their relationship. Being the oldest sister, she was considered the Matriarch of the Walker Family and loved all of her sisters and brothers. Most of them came to California and stayed with her as they transitioned from the State of Louisiana.
As a child, I remember her many acts of kindness generated towards me with gifts, I would receive in the mail. When I was thirteen years old, ( I am now over seventy) I still remember my Aunt Ella sponsoring my first trip to CA. I remember her gentle spirit and radiant smile which lit up a room when she entered in. Her attendance at our 25 Wedding Anniversary was such an honor as she represented my Mother. Being my Mentor and role model was a tremendous Blessing. I dreamed of living in CA one day because Aunt Ella lived there. Also, I wanted to become an educator because she was one. I always wanted a beautiful home because she had one. Aunt Ella was an example for me, she taught me to dream big dreams, and to have goals and visions that surpassed all understanding.
Thanks to my Godmother, Aunt Ella and her anointing spirit of giving to others, God enabled all of my dreams to come true. I know that she’s rejoicing in Heaven as we celebrate her life. The Gates of Heaven opened wide when she appeared as the Angels sang and shouted the victory. There was a great Family Reunion when she met all of her loved ones. She left a Legacy of Love and Giving that once you received it, you became a better person. I’ll always cherish our special moments of laughter, joy and precious love. I simply pray that I can pass on to others what she gave to me. Thank you, Aunt Ella for loving on me... Your Love Never Failed. Now, God has spoken and said, “Well done Ella Burkhalter.” You fought a good fight, Kept the Faith, finished your race, now enter into my Kingdom.
By: Dorothy Walker, Fisher
My mother, Ella Burkhalter, worked hard all her life and taught her children and students to work hard in pursuit of their happiness and remain determined. She was extremely hospitable as she aided many relatives and friends to move to California in search of a better life. Now asleep in death, Ella awaits the Master's voice to come out of the memorial tombs to a perfect life in paradise.
By Ben Myles
I migrated to California in 1956. I was so fortunate to have my cousin, Ella living in Marin at the time, who opened her home to me and my friend who also came with me from Louisiana. She was gracious enough to take me to the employment office where I was able to land my first temporary job with a civil engineering co. I was able to live with Ella until I could rent my own apartment. I would often tell her children that this is how I got my start in California. It took a person with a mighty big heart to open her home, not only to me but also to my friend. She made us feel so welcome for as long as we lived with her. I will always remember her generosity and love.
Ben Myles, Cousin
By Ben Tucker
In the early 80’s to the mid-90’s I had the opportunity to work with Ms. Burkhalter. She was the Head Counselor at El Cerrito High School and I was a UC Berkeley Admissions Outreach Officer. My job was to identify and recruit qualified underrepresented minority students (African American, Chicano/Latino, Native American) to the Berkeley campus. In many ways it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. There were precious few high schools with a critical mass of underrepresented students who met UC admissions requirements.
Over the years Ms. Burkhalter became a key partner in the University’s effort to diversify its undergraduate student population. I worked with her to identify students at her school and in the community who had the potential to succeed at Berkeley. Once identified we enrolled them in college prep courses and provided them with the academic support to achieve at the highest level. We organized campus visits for students and parents who had an opportunity to sit in on classes, meet with Berkeley students and faculty, attend sporting events, and eat in the dining commons.
These activities required a great deal of time and effort. Ms. Burkhalter put in that time and effort which resulted in El Cerrito High becoming a top feeder school to the Berkeley campus and UC campuses systemwide. Also, with Ms. Burkhalter assistance the Berkeley campus’s underrepresented student population increased significantly.
She was a tough taskmaster but a pleasure to work with, because she was all about achieving the desired results; getting the job done, and holding students and parents to a high standards of conduct and performance. Her focus was always about helping students realize their full potential. I learned so much from working with her over the years; how to motivate students, inform parents, and organize large events. She exemplified what it meant to be an Educator. She was an Educator Extraordinaire.
She will be missed, but she has left her mark in the hearts and minds of many students, parents, and educators.
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