Burmah was born on June 3,1912 to Ivy Mae Hawkins and Harvey Amos Ashcraft at her parentsí home in Moccasin. She was the first white baby girl born in that township. Harvey owned and operated the Pastime Bar in Moccasin white Ivy attended to their home and to teaching Bnrmah's brothers (Basil, Cecil and Wayne) to hunt fish and enjoy outdoor life.>Burmah, however, was born with a severe spine curvature and spent much of her youth immersed in books and music. After graduating Moccasin High School Burmah studied bookkeeping in Great Falls and then attended teaching college in Dillon and studied music at Missoula. She returned to the Judith Basin to teach.
In 1939 Burmah married Robert James Christian of Charlo, Mt On his return from wartime service in the US Navy, the couple resided in Boston, MA, where Chris completed hit studies at Harvard University. They then returned to the Judith Basin to take teaching and administrative positions in Stanford, Moore, and Moccasin schools. Burmah provided secretarial services for the Moccasin school for ever 25 years. During those years she spearheaded the annual central Montana two-night talent extravaganza called the Cabaret Capers. Burmah and Chris also farmed the family's homesteads north of Moccasin. Chris passed on in March of 1993.
For 85 years Burmah played the piano and organ for local church serves. She felt honored to provide music for local dances, weddings, funerals and the many school and community events that shape our lives. She served on the Judith Basin County Library hoard for many years and was very active in the early years of the county Senior Citizens, Ladies Aide, Garden Club and ether local organizations. >Burmah has given to her nephews and nieces her great love of learning, her interest in books, birds, politics, games, poetry, astronomy, music and much more. In pasting she was surrounded by family, song and music. Very special to Burmah were the many hours she spent in the energetic company of her great-nephew, Bridger (14) and great-niece Jaegen (7) whom she was tutoring in music, reading, and cribbage and with whom she shared the many adventures of everyday life.
Burmah provided a warm and welcoming second home and loving supplemental parenting to her Moccasin nephews and nieces. Survivors include her sisters-in-law Julie Ashcraft and Fern Ashcraft; nieces Arden Ashcraft, Harva Dixie Ashcraft (Shawn and Jeremiah), Susan Ashcraft (Harley Hughes), Sally Ashcraft (Alasdair Fraser, Galen and Cameron), Linda Hudak (Dick, Schuyler and Whitney). Shannon Beatty (John, Kelsey and John), Cheri Casper (Gary, Jeff, Stacey, and Gina), Karen (Kecia); nephews Joe Ashcraft (Sevai), Ned Ashcraft (Janice, Nathan, Eric and Brittany), Larry Ashcraft (Dorothy, Devin, Tambrely and Angelina). Also surviving are members of her husband's family, Jean Talmage, Shirley Bennett, Mildred Christian, their families, and the families of the late Doris Hill, and Alice Johns.
Memorials may be sent to the
VOM Scottish Fiddle School Scholarship Fund.
PO Box 139
Moccasin MT 59462,
the music tutoring program for area children at
106 Silver Drive, Lewistown, 59457
or to the
Judith Arts Society piano fund,
c/o Marcia Clary,
Stanford, MT 59479
Thank you to all of you who supported our efforts to keep Burmah in her home the last few years.
Thank you to all who called regularly just to chat or stopped by the house to visit And thanks to each of you who shared with Burmah your own musical talents, the title of a new book to read, song to hear, or called when the northern lights were shining!
With love to each of you from her family.