Burton W Eberly
June 3, 1915 ~ October 10, 2012
October 10, 2012
Burton Wilson Eberly, Sr., 97, completed his
life's journey unexpectedly on Wednesday,
October 10, 2012, in Moyie Springs. Graveside
services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, October
12, at Grandview Cemetery, Bonners Ferry.
Burt was born on June 3, 1915, in Valley City,
North Dakota, to William and Lydia Eberly, the
fourth of five children. His father was a Free
Methodist preacher where Burt heard the gospel
daily in family readings of the Bible. This
background influenced his faith and life greatly
and he shared with a family member once that
people don't realize how much this background
influenced and affected how he lived his daily
life and made decisions.
After graduation from high school, he joined the
army, Company K, Seventh Infantry, Vancouver
Barracks, Washington. He married his first wife,
Betty Jeanne Pierson, and they had two sons,
Burton W. Eberly, Jr. and Dale Manning Eberly.
From 1940 to 1943, he worked as a locomotive
fireman for the Union Pacific Railroad in
Portland, Oregon. Using this experience, his
country called him back into service in February
1944, where he operated locomotives for the
750th Railway Operating Battalion. In WWII, he
ran locomotives back and forth between Germany
Family members recall Burt sharing one
experience where he was stopped at a hostile
location where there were three boxcars of
wounded Americans with no heat and no medical
assistance. While being faced with difficult
circumstances, he connected the boxcars to his
train, and then had to run a German checkpoint
to get the train and wounded Americans to
safety. Burt's courageous actions saved many
lives that day. He considered it an honor and
privilege to serve his country.
Burt has been honored in Boundary County several
times for his service to his country and was the
oldest WWII veteran in Boundary County.
Burt enjoyed working for Tektronix for many
years as a tool and die maker. In addition, he
followed a dream of commercial fishing for
salmon for three seasons.
Burton married Ila Mae Neumann on April 15,
In September, 1971, Burt, Ila, and their three
girls moved to Moyie Springs. He continued to
enjoy a varied professional life working for
Boundary County, then followed another interest
as a long haul truck driver, and finally working
part-time cutting and grooming the Bonners Ferry
Raising his family and enjoying friends, Burt
was an avid hunter, enjoyed fly and rod fishing,
camping, and square dancing. His family
remembers his relaxed, positive outlook on life
sprinkled with a wonderful sense of humor.
Family, friends, and the local community all
recognize Burt as having lived life fully,
enjoying all who crossed his path, and blessing
At 97, Burt lived independently on over 30
acres, where he watched the deer run and play
and occasionally he could almost reach out and
touch a deer from his porch steps. He enjoyed
the hummingbirds and other feathered friends
that visited his bird feeders. And yes, at the
age of 97, Burt still drove himself everywhere
he needed to go.
Burt was an avid bowler throughout his life. In
his younger years, he won numerous trophies. In
Bonners Ferry, he has been a member of the
bowling league at AJ's Bowling Alley for many
years, while making a wide variety of friends.
In fact, the day before his departure from us,
he bowled on Tuesday, just like he had done on
many Tuesdays before. His other love was golf.
He has played with the senior’s golf group at
Mirror Lake Golf Course for many years, both
supporting and being supported by the wonderful
men that he golfed with.
Burt has been preceded in death by his parents,
all of his siblings, his son, Burton W. Eberly,
Jr., and his wife, Ila Mae Eberly.
Burt has been a resident of Moyie Springs for 41
years and leaves many friends and family members
including his son, Dale (Linda) Eberly;
daughters Gloria (Jeff) Groff, Carol (Bob)
Merrifield, and Nancy Jones. Burt has 13
grandchildren, about 28 great grandchildren, and
three great great grandchildren.
As we look back upon Burt's life and celebrate
his unique qualities that make him a blessing to
each of us, let us be inspired by this amazing
man who lived life richly and fully! Let's
follow his example of not counting how many
breaths he took, but how many moments took his,
and our, breath away.
Family and friends are invited to sign Burt’s
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of
Bonners Ferry Funeral Home.