Venyard Burkhalter

December 4, 1926 ~ November 27, 2022

95 Years Old


Funeral service for Venyard Burkhalter, 95, of Garrison will be held at 1:00pm, on Thursday, December 1, 2022 at Garrison Church of Christ with Jackie Brown and Shak Arrington officiating.  Interment will follow at Cold Springs Cemetery in Garrison.  Visitation will be held from 5-7pm on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at Laird Funeral Home in Nacogdoches.

Venyard Burkhalter was born and raised in his beloved community of Pine Hill, just outside of Garrison.  Although his life afforded him adventures elsewhere, Garrison was home and where he always returned to.  Venyard was a man of great values and never met a stranger.  His word and handshake was a promise he honored and his greatest accomplishment was the family he loved dearly.

Venyard was born the son of Jimmie and John Earnest Burkhalter and raised alongside his 3 brothers.  The boys were taught many things in their lifetime and the values they learned were instilled deeply within them.  Growing up in a small town, developing a superior work ethic and a dedicated life to Christ were only a few of the many things that defined Venyard.  In his young years he was drafted but was unable to fulfill this duty due to a medical issue so he worked alongside his father in the shipyards during WWII until they returned to rural life.  The Burkhalter family was blessed with the gift of wonderful voices and they used this to honor their Lord and Savior at every given moment.  Singing became a prominent part of Venyard’s life and he enjoyed the harmony of his family members standing alongside him in song.  One evening while attending a singing in Cold Springs, a young lady caught his eye.  As his flirtatious nature led him, he asked her to play piano for him.  This chance encounter began the rest of Venyard and Betty Ann Bryce’s lives together.  Shortly afterward they had their first date at Dairy Queen in Center and on August 20, 1955, they were married in Betty’s home in Pleasant Grove.  He and Betty Ann have spent an exceptional 67 years side by side with many memories made and a lifetime of love for each other.  Up until last year, they would often return to that same Dairy Queen for supper, even after all these years.

Venyard, alongside the love of his life, made their home in Garrison and became one of the first chicken farmers around.  Their farm was a way of life for them and Venyard took great pride in everything he did.  He was a working man and always provided for his family.  He was never satisfied with having only one job, so he took on many other tasks including driving a fertilizer truck and school bus for many, many years.  Venyard loved his family dearly and when he was blessed with the birth of 3 sons, his heart was joyous.  He taught them many lessons in work, life and dedication to their family and Jesus Christ.  His boys made him proud and he spoke of them with great honor.  Venyard used many “teachable moments” to instill the understanding and lessons of life to each of them.  He taught them how to live, love, laugh and even how to die.  He also passed on his love of music to them and enjoyed many years around the supper table singing alongside his wife & boys.  Venyard was a jokester and never passed up the opportunity to pull a prank on someone and was typically the one to make a hard situation a little lighter with his shenanigans.  He was passionate and caring, devoted and loyal, a man of his word and spent his entire life dedicated to his Savior.  With a grateful heart, he lovingly passed on all of this and much more, to his sons and grandchildren.  He will forever be remembered as the patriarch of the family, the hardest working man they knew and the one who helped mold them into who they are today. 

Venyard is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Betty Ann Burkhalter of Garrison; sons, Mike Burkhalter & wife, Rhonda; James Burkhalter and John Burkhalter & wife, Angela; adopted daughter, Pam Smith; grandchildren, Chase Burkhalter, Tyler Burkhalter, Amber Pessagno, David Burkhalter, Nathan Burkhalter, Makenna Burkhalter, Aden Burkhalter, Nicole Burkhalter, Brandon Smith and Crystal Smith; 8 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jimmie Ruth and John Earnest Burkhalter; granddaughter, Hillary Ann Burkhalter and brothers, Willard, Chester and Wilburn Burkhalter.

Serving as pallbearers will be Chase Burkhalter, Tyler Burkhalter, David Burkhalter, Nathan Burkhalter, Aden Burkhalter, Brandon Smith, Randy Burkhalter, Robbie Burkhalter and Ronnie Burkhalter.    

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Venyard Burkhalter, please visit our floral store.