Shearer, Glennie Burkhalter (Mrs. John B.)



January 28, 1916 – December 24, 2006
   Glennie Burkhalter Shearer was born January 28, 1916, in Corsicana, Texas, the third of Milo and Lucy Hall Burkhalter’s ten children. She was raised in Gibsland, Louisiana, and was active in the Gibsland Methodist Church. She graduated from Gibsland High School and began her college studies at Louisiana Tech.
   She was an accomplished musician. While a student at Louisiana Tech, she played in the Shreveport and Monroe symphony orchestras when the program required a xylophonist. She also played the piano and organ. Throughout her life, she shared her musical talents when churches required a pianist or organist.
   Glennie married the Rev. John B. Shearer on September 12, 1937, at Galloway Memorial Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi. John transferred from the Louisiana to the Mississippi Conference and together they served churches there prior to World War II. 
   Shortly after the war started, John was drafted as an army chaplain and was stationed in North Africa and Italy from 1942 through 1945. With John overseas, Glennie returned to Gibsland with her child and four stepchildren to live with her father. There Glennie ran the household raising her children and caring for her younger brothers and sister while her mother was suffering from terminal cancer.
   When John was discharged from the Army, he transferred to the Louisiana Conference. He served charges in Grand Cane, Trout, Marksville, and Jackson. After raising her children, Glennie began teaching first grade at Jackson Elementary School. She also resumed her college studies, commuting to Baton Rouge for night classes after teaching school. She maintained this schedule several years and proudly completed her baccalaureate in education at Louisiana State University in 1966. Two years later, John had a stroke and retired from the ministry.
   She and John moved to Ruston, where Glennie purchased a home and began teaching first grade at Cypress Springs Elementary School. Both were active in Trinity United Methodist Church. During this time, Glennie also served as the pianist at the Simsboro United Methodist Church. She continued teaching and caring for John until his death in 1984.
   In addition to her love of music, Glennie had a passion for genealogy. After she began teaching and with her children grown, she finally had the opportunity to treat herself and indulge her love of clothing.
   There are many saints of God. Glennie was truly one of them. Her whole life was one of giving – giving of herself to her husband and children, to her siblings, to her many friends and to her church. With Glennie, giving was not an obligation. It was a joy. She was a gentle, but strong and loving person. I cannot imagine anyone being blessed with a more wonderful mother.
   Glennie’s health began declining in 2003. She had to be moved from her beloved North Louisiana to Huntsville, Alabama. She continued to touch the lives of her caregivers, always being more concerned about them than her own needs. She rejoiced in the many visits she received from her children, grandchildren, sister, nephews, nieces and friends during this time.
   Glennie died December 24, 2006. Her extended family and her friends celebrated her life in the Burkhalter Chapel of Trinity United Methodist Church, December 28, 2006. The Rev. Fred Wideman officiated, and the Rev. Rolly Walker delivered the eulogy.
Milo E. Shearer
Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2007; p. 262.

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