June 24, 1936 — February 6, 2021.
The Reverend Gisela E. Burley 84 years of life transitioned from this life to eternal life on February 6th, 2021. Born in Nuremburg Germany in 1936, moved to the United States in 1953 and her final home was in Leesburg Va. as of 1997. Cause of death was not COVID. Gisela, was married in 1955 to Mr. Peter Macher. They had two children, Beatrice (Macher) Mleschnitza and Robert Macher. She was blessed again with 5 grandchildren, Philip, Ricky, Bobby, Betsy and Samantha. Further blessings were her 13 great-grandchildren.
During her lifetime she worked hard at all that she did. Her career was working at Lufthansa German Airlines for 25 years as a Cargo Sales Agent. She retired in 1992. She loved this job and the company. However, her passion for her faith in her religion was where she worked in her spare time as hard. She also studied to become a Deacon in The Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Minnesota where she and her then husband Aloysius Burley lived. The Rev Gisela Burley was ordained 10/23/78 as the first women deacon in the dioceses of Minnesota.
Other than family, Gisela’s service to the church was a dream fulfilled and was most proud of. After moving to Virginia from St Louis MO. Gisela joined St David’s Episcopal Church in Ashburn. From 2000 until 2010 Gisela was a Deacon at St David’s Episcopal Church in Ashburn VA. assisting Father Stephen McWhorter who was the rector at that time. She loved working at St. David’s where she met and developed many friendships. She also cared for senior citizens with visits to their homes, the sacraments from the church or just to keep them company. So many gifts she gave to others. Her love for animals was also one of her passions. She cared about all creatures, big and small. She adopted a dog named Gracie that was the joy of her life for nearly 15 years.
Beyond loving the Lord Gisela had many hobbies. She enjoyed traveling, cooking, baking (the world’s best Christmas Cookies), reading, and many outdoor activities. Gisela’s beautiful life would tell a story of immigrating to the United States after WWII and enjoying life to the fullest even at times that you would consider difficult. We are very proud of our mother.
A service will be held for family prior to this obituary being published Sunday the 20th of February. With much of her family living in Germany, Alaska and are not able to fly to Virginia at this time, we will be doing the family service via you tube with Father Tom Simmons of St Peters in Purcellville. More formal services will be held at St David’s of Ashburn when we are able to assemble for an outside gathering with family friends and anyone that would care to worship with us. This date will be announced at a future time.
In lieu of flowers, a donation in her name to the Loudoun County Humane Animal Services, www.loudoun.gov. Donations would be appreciated by her and them as well.
God Bless Gisela, for all the lives she has touched will truly miss her. We love you Mom, Oma, Grandma as affectionately known. Condolences may be left at www.colonialfuneralhome.com.