Edith Charlene McGurk

Edith Charlene (Thompson) McGurk, 88, died January 29, 2020 in Topeka, Kansas. She was born August 23, 1931 in Chanute, Kansas to Lester Thompson and Blanche Godding Thompson. She graduated from Ottawa University in 1954, then served for three years with American Baptist Missions teaching English Language at Soshin Girls School in Yokohama, Japan. While living in Japan she met her husband, George, who was there serving in the US Army. They returned to the United States and were married in 1958. Edith became a reading specialist and taught elementary school in Topeka, Frontenac, and Chanute, Kansas. She loved and cared for each child who graced her classroom. Edith and George were active in American Baptist churches throughout their lives, and Edith had a special passion for children’s spiritual education. She loved spending time with her family and working in her garden, and she maintained an extensive correspondence with many friends from Japan and across the United States.

Edith is survived by son, Nathan McGurk [Janette] of Paphos, Cyprus, daughter, Wendy Wheeler of Lawrence, Kansas; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by husband. George, sisters Shirley Melchiori and Alice Ruggles, and brother Britton Thompson. 

Services will be Saturday, February 8 at 9:30 am at Grace Bible Church, 4021 SE 37th Street, Topeka, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Transworld Radio earmarked for Hannah McGurk support, or to the Topeka Rescue Mission. No visitation or graveside services will be held; instead, following all are invited to an ice cream social at Grace Bible Church to celebrate Edith’s life and her undying love for ice cream.


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