Lorene Esther Burrichter, life-long educator and world traveler, died peacefully on March 9, 2014, in her retirement home in Eitzen, Minn. There, she had been the primary caregiver for her mother who lived just beyond her 100th birthday in 2004. Lorene had been under hospice care following the discovery of inoperable cancer late in the fall of 2013.
The youngest child of the Reverend Emil and Elsie (Dickel) Burrichter, Lorene was born March 7, 1940, in Bluffton, Ohio. Grounding for her educational career began during her eight years in a one-room rural school in Jasper County, Iowa. There she overheard older students reciting, encountered the same material at grade level, and later helped younger children with their lessons. She was valedictorian of her class at New Albin High School, where she was known for her vocal music talents and her prowess on the basketball court. Lorene earned her B.A. degree at Elmhurst College while singing with the college chorus and serving as president of her dormitory. Her Masters degree, with advanced certification in administration, was earned at Northern Illinois University.
Miss Burrichter taught in Bensenville, Ill. before accepting a position at an internation school in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Upon returning to the States, she worked with elementary students in Aurora, Ill. She then spent six years as a classroom teacher and reading specialist at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Coming home to Iowa to be nearer to her aging parents, her last 23 years as a formal educator were in Oskaloosa. Notes from fellow teachers tell of many ways she helped them. Her effectiveness might best be captured in a student’s note, “Thanks for a future.”
During her time in Eitzen, Lorene was active in the senior citizens group, served as an election judge and for several years presided over the senior spelling bee at the Houston County Fair. Her travels took her to over 35 countries on six continents, including a globe-circling tour in 1978 and her 2012 journey to Antarctica.
She is survived by her sister, The Reverend Lavon (The Reverend Robert) Bayler, Elgin, Ill.; sister-in-law, Mary Lou (Middendorf) Burrichter, Eitzen; one niece, Holly Jo (Greg) Dougherty, New Albin, Iowa; five nephews, Norris “Don” (Debra Reiser) Burrichter, New Albin; Jon E. “Jeb” (Peggy Meyer) Burrichter, Dorchester, Iowa; Toby (Jean Leary) Burrichter, Caledonia, Minn.; David (Jennifer Lee) Bayler, Big Rock, Ill.; Jonathan “Jay” (Kathleen Fuchs) Bayler, Greenbrae, Calif.; Timothy Bayler, South Elgin, Ill.; her Pomeranian companion, Meeca; 13 great-nieces and nephews; and 11 great-great-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Norris Don “Bud” Burrichter; and a great-nephew, Dustin E. Burrichter.
A reception and celebration of her life will be held on Sunday afternoon, April 27, 2014, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the New Albin Community Center, New Albin. Her ashes will be interred at St. Peter’s Cemetery, established during her father’s pastorate. Memorial gifts may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, (Caledonia Chapel), Caledonia is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.