Virginia Martin Burchell, 91, of Rockport, died Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at Pen Bay Medical Center.

Born in Pittsburgh Jan. 6, 1922, she was the daughter of Clarence Paul and Helen Elizabeth (Martin) Helbling. Ginny attended public schools in Pittsburgh and in 1939 had just entered college when she eloped with E. Roy Burchell, a tall, dark, handsome divinity student she had met at a Methodist youth group. The young couple pawned a watch for gasoline money and drove across the border into Kentucky to get married. Later the clergyman’s mother insisted on a church wedding, as her son was going to be a minister and “it wouldn’t look right."

Roy and Ginny Burchell served churches in the Pittsburgh area; several in Connecticut; Pittsfield, Mass.; Bronxville, N.Y.; and at the First Congregational Church in Camden. In Camden, they enjoyed their best times and formed lifelong friendships that Ginny often said, were not to be found again. During the Camden years, they built their retirement home, the Chalet, in Rockport which was inspired by a trip to Europe where they were charmed by Swiss chalets. They spent decades building, mostly Roy doing the carpentry work while Ginny drove to Passmore Lumber Company in Camden for more nails and building supplies or to the Camden IGA for beer.

Ginny held several part-time jobs through the years but always was at home for the children after school and at lunchtime for her husband. She worked at a local dress shop and did work for a national premedical honor society. Her primary occupation was being mother extraordinaire, although she was also a semi-professional shopper and professional minister’s wife, a job of unending sacrifice, humility, and daring with unlimited hours! After her husband of 50 years died when Ginny was 86, she sold her home in New York, and moved to Rockport to be near her daughter, Debbie Brady and family. In Maine, she spent the winter months at her daughter’s home and lived the remainder of the year in the Chalet. Ginny enjoyed her books, playing solitaire, a good game of bridge, and never refused the opportunity to go shopping until the last few weeks of her life. She also enjoyed the accomplishments of her granddaughters, giving her opinion of their newest purchases, meeting their friends and boyfriends, going to singing performances, and was looking forward to Kate’s wedding this summer.

The family would like to express their love and appreciation to Ask Home Care; the med-surg south unit at Pen Bay Medical Center; and staff at Hope Health. Special thanks to Tammie Cates who made sure she felt beautiful every week!

She was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Rev. Roy Burchell, a sister, Helen, and a son, Roger Burchell. Surviving is her son Roy and his wife Sherie of Prescott, Ariz.; daughter Debbie Brady and her husband, Dan of Camden; grandchildren, Sam, Pam, Brenda, Tina Burchell, and Annie and Mary Kate Brady and her fiancé, Trevor Hamlin; eight great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 13, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St., Camden with the Rev. Charles Erb officiating. Spring interment will be held in Seaview Cemetery in Rockport.

If desired memorial contributions may be made to the Shields Mission Fund, c/o First Congregational Church, 55 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843. Condolences may be shared with the Burschell family by visiting their book of memories at longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.