OBITUARY FOR MARY VIRGINIA AMBLER BURWELL by Carolyn Schmekel
Virginia A Burwell died Wednesday, April 13, just days past her 87th birthday. She was born Mary Virginia Ambler, in Pasadena, California on April 6, 1924, and lived in Southern California until 2001, when her husband, Allen, died. She then spent a year in Falcon, Colorado, with son, David and family, finally settling near daughter and son-in-law Carolyn (Burwell) and Glenn Schmekel in Twisp, Washington in October, 2002. During her years here, she participated actively as secretary of the Cove, Guardian Angel Program, administrating it from her apartment. She was the bookkeeper for her daughter and son-in-law’s rental business and continued a prolific correspondence with countless numbers of friends as well as family members. From her earliest years she had a passion for life in general, and was interested in everything. Most of her days as a young girl were spent on horseback, and the dramatic event that changed everything was when she fell victim to polio in 1946. No one expected her to live much less walk again. She was pregnant with her second child, Carolyn. She not only lived, but she never used a wheelchair during the rest of her life. From that time on, Virginia became a survivor. Words like “adapt”, “overcome”, “reroute”, were a common part of her vocabulary. She believed there was always a solution, never a defeat, and her faith in God was a testament to everyone who knew her.
Despite physical limitations, she loved gardening, knitting, crocheting, organizing, reading, games, and not least, observing people. She was responsible for setting up and running active libraries in several large churches. The Twisp Community Covenant Church library was started with the books that she donated. She was an administrator for Bible Study Fellowship for years, and always was involved in Christian education, from Child Evangelism Fellowship to college youth.
In, 1980 Virginia was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome. In typical fashion, she quickly turned that devastating news into a positive by starting the San Diego chapter of the Post Polio Support Group. Polio survivors turned to her for counsel and support and the chapter became the largest in the United States, meeting monthly. It is still functioning via newsletter and website.
Virginia was an amazing woman who mentored many. She is survived by her son, David and daughter, Carolyn, an older brother, Bob Ambler and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren who will all miss her. There will be a memorial gathering on Sunday, May 29, for friends and family at the Glenn Schmekel residence, 18 Second Mile Rd. Twisp.
The first week of January 2009, the Lord gave me the Word “COMMUNICATION”.
In 2007 and 2008 I was given the Word CONNECTION.
In that year and a half, I learned a great deal as I knew my family was in the process of a spiritual connection, becoming as one, with God as our Head.
Now in order to stay connected we need to stay in communication with our Head and with one another. We do not know what the future holds, but as the song says, “we know Who holds the future”.
Because I am very forgetful and lose track of time, I am going to mark on my calendar when I have communicated with friends and family and when they have done the same for me. Most, except phone calls, will be short and simple!
January 9, AM, I awoke hearing someone make the statement “HOPE IS RESTORED”.
When I get a prophetic Word, I have learned to let the Holy Spirit decide what, who, when, where…..! I was given simple examples and illustrations of how our family was connecting and still is, so I expect we will see that as we practice communicating. It will be that also with HOPE. We always wish for instant answers to fix everything and everyone when we pray. But how would we ever learn to become a team, a “working” Body unless we exercise/practice FAITH using the “tools” the Holy Spirit has given us?
The following truisms were received over the past few years by the Burwell family from Grandmother Virginia Burwell who passed to join her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 13, 2011:
For God’s People:
1. The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not cover you.
2. God speaks to each of us every day. It is our choice to listen. The gift of free will we possess, allows us to make the decision to follow His direction or not.
3. Whenever we work close to another person, whether in an office or home, small offenses can become the source of great conflict. Resentment and irritability soon follow. God brings these “offenses” into our lives to develop character qualities in us. He uses individuals in our lives to accomplish His goal of making us more Christ-like. So the next time you complain or resist a habit or action from someone close to you, ask God if it has been placed there to develop some quality in you.
4. Pride is the root source of the need to change another person. A man’s wisdom gives him patience to let go of little offenses. This is where spiritual maturity is seen in the day-to-day activity of life. Is there someone close to you who has some habit you really desire to change? Give up that desire to the Lord. Who knows, He may even change it after you let go of the need to change it. Proverbs 19:11
5. “Genetic Predisposition”
Illustration: Aspen trees have a root system that is invasive, “traveling” underground and “popping up”, becoming new Aspen trees. Left to themselves they will crowd out other plants in the garden and dominate the space. There are two ways to control: “Kill the parent” or chop off the roots coming from the “parent”. The latter will have to be done consistently until they no longer affect the “garden”.
God wants us to apply this illustration to ourselves. All of us have genetic predispositions (the sins of the fathers). When I “heard” the two words above while in the bathtub this AM, I was reminded of words I got in January of 2007…..“To avoid the consequences, COMMIT to being CONSISTENT”
6. There are many disciplines that are needed to be learned and experienced to produce the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Here are a few examples:
- Disciplines in relationships (God, family, friends)
- Disciplines in environment (church, home, school, etc)
- Disciplines in care for physical body (food, habits, cleanliness, etc)
You can probably list many more.
Tulip planting illustration: Tulips need cold to bloom (40 degrees or below) and to be planted in the Fall, 6 inches deep in the soil, in order for them to bloom in the Spring. Their “disciplines” seem harsh by our standards, but that is what it takes for them to produce strong, upright, colorful blooms, to be what God intended to be.