In Memory of



Obituary for Mollie Burkholder

Mollie V. Burkholder (née Bacon)

Mollie Burkholder passed away peacefully in her home at Hastings Manor, Belleville, Ontario, on January 18, 2024, at the age of 92. Predeceased by her husband Robert “Bob” Burkholder (2020), her parents James and Florence (née Bradley) Bacon and siblings James (Edna), Dorothy May (Gord), Bill (Bernice), Florence Rowe (Howie), Ron (Helen), Bett Card (Bill), Albert (Helen), Barbara Brown (Al), and Elizabeth Gammack (Martin). Survived by her beloved brother David (Marlene).

Also survived by her children Rena Burkholder (Cam Portt), R. Jayne Burkholder, James Burkholder (Ann), J. Bradley Burkholder (Jodi) and Elizabeth Micallef (Robert), grandchildren Michael Portt (Laura Carlson), Andrea Portt, Jessica Smith (Jack), Russell Drenth (Jessica), Kyle Burkholder, Jesse Drenth (Abbey Smith), Ashley Burkholder, Dylan Micallef (Britany Hernandez), and Hayley Micallef Vinkovic (Ryan), great-grandchildren Lawrence Portt, Mason and Kellan Smith, Maximus and Elena Drenth, and Haley Drenth, and many nieces and nephews.

Mollie was born and raised on Muriel Avenue in Toronto, the eighth of eleven children, and  attended Danforth Technical School. She was a good student and her best marks were in sewing, a high school subject at the time. She was a very proud member of the badminton team.

The Bacon family spent the summers ‘in the country’ in Unionville. Her father, an inside worker at the main post office in Toronto, would drive to Unionville for the weekends. Commuting that far daily was inconceivable at the time. When school ended in June, Mollie and her sister Elizabeth would cycle from Toronto to Unionville, so they would have “wheels” for the summer.

Mollie was a dark-eyed beauty with long black hair. She met her future husband and love of her life, Bob Burkholder, at a baseball game in Unionville and they married in 1952. Shortly thereafter Bob’s parents purchased a bakery in Belleville and Mollie and Bob moved there to support her parents-in-law in their new business enterprise “Burkholder’s Bakery”. Mollie learned how to decorate cakes and soon became the decorating expert. 

Mollie started a home business as a seamstress, building upon the skills that she learned in high school sewing classes. She sewed costumes for the Quinte Figure Skating Club, working in the corner of the dining room of their modest home. The house bustled on final fitting day when sugar plum fairies, snowflakes, and others descended. The business grew and soon Mollie was creating fashion masterpieces - beautiful one-of-a-kind bridal gowns based on pictures of sleeves, necklines etc. that the brides-to-be provided. Ever the frugal manager of fabric, she would often create a negligee from the remnants as a gift to the bride. Somehow, she also found time to sew clothing for their family of five, with special items for birthdays and Christmas. Mollie was a busy, busy woman. She loved fashion and was always turned-out in style.

Shortly after Mollie and Bob moved to “R.R.#6”, east of Belleville, Mollie re-entered the workforce. She became a Sears’ employee, first in the fabric department, followed by successive positions as manager of various departments. She loved her time at Sears and the enduring friendships were forged there.

Grandchildren arrived and Mollie was the consummate grandmother, she loved babies and young children. March breaks, Christmas holidays, and summer vacations were filled with adventures, wonderful meals, and love.  

Our family sincerely thanks Dr. MacLeod and the wonderful staff at Hastings Manor for their compassionate and professional care during Mollie’s final months. You sat with her and shared quiet moments when she needed you and were there when we needed you. We are truly grateful.

A celebration of the lives of Mollie and Bob will be held on February 17th from 1-4 p.m. at the Belleville Club (210 Pinnacle Street, Belleville). There will be a service for Mollie commencing @ 1:30 pm.

If so desired, donations in Mollie’s memory may be made to Heart and Stroke or your local Humane Society.

Arrangements entrusted to Steele Funeral Home, Belleville (613-968-2273).