Berdene Rose AzbellĀ  91

Mrs. Berdene Rose Azbell  91, of Rochester passed away unexpectedly, on Sunday, September 27, 2020 at Hickory Creek of Rochester.


In Wabash County, Berdene Rose Callahan was born on October 27, 1928.  She was the youngest daughter of John and Ruth Anderson Callahan.  Growing up she shared her childhood with three sisters and five brothers.  The family moved to Richland Township and Berdene graduated from Richland Center High School in 1946.


On September 8, 1963, Berdene Callahan married the love of her life, Maurice A. Azbell.  They enjoyed over 57 years of life's adventures.  From their union came two beautiful daughters Trillia and Mila.  The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of four more generations.


Berdene was a devoted member of the Grace United Methodist Church for over 50 years.  She was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star for over a half century.


An accomplished and very creative seamstress, Berdene did custom alterations for men's and women's apparel stores downtown for decades.  The fact is, she was still sewing a little more than a week ago. She tailored all clothing to perfection in an impressive sewing workshop in her basement.  Many partially used spools of thread in a rainbow of colors, surrounded her Singer machine that she made hum like a top, creating the perfect fit.


Making many creative pieces, "Granny," was a master of recycling.  A bridesmaid dress became a pair of slacks. A ribbon from a Christmas present became a New Year's skirt.  She made pillows, Easter hats and coats and all sorts of clothing for her family as they grew up over the decades, dazzling her admirers with her gifted hands. 


To relax, Berdene enjoyed reading!  Many of her books were of romance by Delinsky, Picoult or Macomber.  When she anticipated a steamy part she simply skipped over those pages, to return to the primary theme. 


Berdene was an extraordinary cook and baker. Everything from Granny's kitchen was from scratch!  She is remembered for her orange jello, Italian Spaghetti, cherry delight, ham salad, beef and noodles and potato salad. Each Sunday marked a tradition of getting together at Granny's house for a feast.  She spoiled her grands making special dishes just for them each week.


Granny was so very proud of her legacy and overseeing five generations.  She was very happy at her kitchen command post creating special meals for her family at the holidays and for special family celebrations.  This is where a lifetime of memories was made. There was much evidence in her home of family pride,  with an impressive and amazing "wall of fame," dedicated to her family tree branch in nearly every room, a clear photo essay of the evolution of her family, for over nine decades. 



Left to cherish Berdene's memory are two daughters; Trillia Kae Gearhart of Akron, Mila Ewen (Jim) of Rochester, 6 grandchildren: Ashley Craft(Chris), Cory Gearhart  (Ashley), Emily Gearhart,  Lindsey Barts, Dr. Caitlin Rich DDS (Michael), Clinton Barts (Leigh), 6 Great-grandchildren Alex Craft, Hunter Craft, Derek Craft, Hailey Craft, Evelin Alarcon, Eleanor Louise Rich, 1 great-great-grandchild Emilio Jax Craft. Dr. David Barts DDS, and a special sister-in-law Dorothy Callahan also survive.


Preceding  Berdene in death are: her parents John and Ruth Callahan, beloved husband Maurice on March 24, 2011,  son-in-law Dennis Gearhart on March 5, 2019,  3 sisters: Frannie, Mary, Catherine,  5 brothers: Charles, Russell, John, Don and Harvey.


A celebration of the life of Mrs. Berdene Rose Azbell will be at 1:00 PM, Wednesday, September 30, 2020, in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th Street, Rochester, IN  46975.  Pastor Teri White will officiate.  The Order of Eastern Star will conduct a memorial service at 12:45 PM.  Burial will follow at the Rochester IOOF Cemetery.  Friends may visit with her family from 11:00 AM, until the time of the Eastern Star service.  Preferred memorials may be made to Wheels on Fire,  % Beaver Dam United Methodist Church, 9798-W  1000-S, Akron, IN  46910 or the Fulton County Library,  320 West 7th Street, Rochester, IN  46975.   Online expressions of sympathy may be made to her family at 

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