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 a.m. 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 the memorial service, all are invited to an ice cream social at Grace Bible Church to celebrate Edith’s life and her undying love for ice cream.

3 “Edith Charlene McGurk

  1. I fixed Edith’s hair for many years. I loved visiting with her and hearing her stories of her time in Japan. I laugh when I think of the story about her asking for a bathroom and instead her host took her from temple to temple as she continued to make the same request. She kept looking for a bathroom and was confused by this absence of one. Turns out the words for bathroom and temple are similar! George has an amazingly big heart! The world would be a much better place if more people were like Edith and George! I was lucky to know them. They will be missed.

    Toni Allison
    Hair Care ETC

  2. Nathan & Wendy: My heart goes out to you in the loss of your mother and recently your father. Your parents will be remembered for their love of sharing the gospel and winning others to Jesus. We were privileged to fellowship and work with you all at First Baptist, Independence KS. Your family was special to Pastor Bob McGuire and I, as well as our children. It’s never easy to lose those we love!

  3. Dear Wendy and family,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. She was obviously a beautiful and kind person, and I know she will be missed greatly. Thinking of you!

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