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Martha Elizabeth James Burggraaf shed her mantle of flesh at her home in Pagosa Springs on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, and went confidently to meet her Lord. Those that knew her recognized her as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, as well as a special teacher who loved both her pupils and the subjects that she taught. Those that knew her more closely, saw her as confident in her salvation and her future, not because of anything that she had done, but rather because of the sacrifice of Christ and her personal acceptance of his death as payment for her failings.
Martha was born in Montrose, Miss., on Dec. 30, 1933. She left Mississippi in 1958 to spend 40 years with Robert Burggraaf, the only man she would ever love. They walked the path with their Lord and saw it wind from New York to Colorado to Africa and back to Colorado, with stops in Eastern Europe and Nebraska. Along the way, they saw the birth of a son, Mark Alan, and a daughter, Antoinette, and were able to disciple many for the cause of Christ. Martha is preceded in death by her husband, Robert, her parents, Bernice Lee and Cora Elizabeth James. She is survived by her sisters Virginia (Fann) and Mary (Lehman), her brothers Frank and John, son Mark, daughter Antoinette (Gibbons), and grandsons Timothy Gibbons, Joseph Gibbons, Benjamin Gibbons, Josiah Burggraaf and Caleb Burggraaf.
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at CrossRoad Christian Fellowship, 1044 Park Ave. in Pagosa Springs. In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, those so inclined are encouraged to remember her by, “paying it forward.” Look to the things that were important to Miss Martha and support a child’s music lessons, read to a child or older person, participate in a Bible study and share about Jesus.