875 W. Second Street
Reno, NV 89503
Phone: (775) 323-7189
Fax: (775) 323-1684

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Obituary for Agatha Burch

Agatha Burch (1925 – 2017)

Agatha Burch passed away February 24, 2017 in Reno, Nevada at the age of 91. Agatha was born November 17, 1925 to Josef and Agatha Emmenegger in Malters, Switzerland. One of twelve children, she grew up in Switzerland before marrying Walter Burch and coming to America in 1947.

A hard worker all her life, she and her husband owned and operated a dairy in San Ysidro, California for many years, before selling it and moving back to Switzerland in 1968. There, she spent much of her time breeding, raising and training White German Shepherds, and is credited with reviving what came to be known as the modern white Swiss Shepherd breed in that country. In retirement, the two returned to the United States in 1977, ultimately settling down in Washoe Valley, Nevada.

Following Walter’s death in 1989, she devoted much of her time to helping with church ministry at Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church in Reno, Nevada, while still finding time to travel to Switzerland to visit family and friends. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law RoseMarie and Peter VanderZwan, grandson Dan Riebli, granddaughter and grandson-in-law Sandy and Nick Howlett, great-granddaughter Brooke Howlett, sisters Anna Stierli and Antoinette Hilfiker, and numerous friends, cousins, nieces and nephews in Switzerland and the United States.

Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, March 8th at 10 am at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Carson City, Nevada. A reception will be held immediately following the service, with interment of ashes occurring at Walton’s Chapel of the Valley.





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