MASON CITY Alfred Al F. Burkart, age 91, of Mason City, died Thursday, November 19, 2009, at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit. Funeral services will be held 11:00 A.M. Monday (November 23, 2009) at First United Methodist Church, 119 South Georgia, with the Rev. Jim Stiles officiating. Interment will be held in the Clear Lake Cemetery beside his wife of 57 years. Visitation will be held 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Sunday (November 22, 2009) at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave. In Lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Iowa Alzheimers Association, 700 East University, Des Moines, IA 50316 or the Heritage Care Center, 501 S. Kentucky Ave. Mason City, 50401 in care of the family.
Al was born December 18, 1917 in Freeport, IL, the fourteenth and last survivor of seventeen children of Otto and Jenny Burkart. He was raised in Dubuque and graduated from Drake University with a degree in Pharmacy. While in Des Moines he met and married his life long companion Gretchen, who passed away in 2001. The family located to Mason City in 1946, moved away briefly in 1956, and returned for good in 1960. He worked as a pharmacist at Ford Hopkins Drugs, Caseys Prescription Shop, and the Park Clinic Pharmacy (later North Iowa Medical Center). He was a tireless worker and didnt slow down after retirement, traveling and continuing his hobby of wood working. For over fifty years he volunteered at the Community Theatre, building sets and even taking to the stage when the cast needed a grumpy old man. As recently as 2007 he held two volunteer jobs; as a guide at Music Man Square and as a radio show host on KCMR. He participated in the seniors exercise class at the YMCA for the last 26 years and went dancing most weekends with his special friend Edith Nichols.
Al was, above all, an excellent grandfather. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, whether it was reading to them in his rocker or taking them to his favorite places. Al was very involved in his grandchildrens lives. He took them to work with him, on vacations, and to the theatre. He enjoyed making toys for his grandchildren and in recent years enjoyed spoiling all his great grandchildren.
Al is survived by four children, John and wife Barbara of Salt Lake City, UT, Terry of Sun Prairie, WI, Michael and wife Ann of Cedar Rapids and Julie True of Mason City; nine grandchildren, Matthew (Jeanne) Burkart, Jill Burkart (Hampton Finger), Jackson (Kim) Burkart, Stephanie True Moon, Eric (Tara) True, Sara (Adam) Gutierrez, Stacey True, Shawn True, and Shelby True; nine great-grandchildren, Garrette, Blake, Resse, Alexandra, Adan, Kyan, Leila, Maleah, and George.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gretchen, parents; siblings, and three grandchildren; Christopher and Amanda Burkart and Chad Moon.