Northampton Press

Thursday, August 22, 2019
Thomas A. Burkholder Thomas A. Burkholder

Thomas A. Burkholder

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by The Press in Obituaries

Catasauqua funeral director

Thomas Allen Burkholder, 97, of Allentown, died Jan. 8, 2019, in his home. He was the husband of the late Anna (Zachar) Burkholder.

Born in Allentown, he was a son of the late Oliver S. and Julia (Frederick) Burkholder.

He graduated from Catasauqua High School in 1939.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and was stationed in France, Belgium and Germany as a member of the 2nd Armored Division. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was part of the first American forces to enter Berlin. He served as an honor guard for President Truman at the Potsdam Conference. His unit was awarded a presidential citation. He individually received the Good Conduct Medal, the Distinguished Unit Badge, two Bronze Stars and World War II victory medals.

He graduated from Eckels Embalming School in Philadelphia. He worked as a funeral director for more than 50 years.

He and his father operated the Oliver S. Burkholder Funeral Homes in Catasauqua and East Allentown. The Catasauqua funeral home became known as the Thomas A. Burkholder Funeral Home in 1961. It is now the Brubaker Funeral Home, owned and operated by John Brubaker and his son, Andrew.

He was an elder at Salem United Church of Christ, Catasauqua, and was in charge of the renovation of the church in the 1950s.

He is survived by a son, Dr. Thomas and his wife, Dr. Judith McDonald of Allentown; a daughter, Carol and her husband Dr. Robert Leggett of Vienna, Va.; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by three sisters, Elizabeth Wolfe, Ruth Fenstermaker and Catherine Sceurman.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the American Legion Post 567, 1615 Sumner Ave., Allentown, 18102; or to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org/donate.

Arrangements were made by Brubaker Funeral Home Inc., Catasauqua.