Joyce Burghardt1922-2021

1922 – 2021

Joyce Burghardt, born to Charles Henry and Helen Marion Foote of Queen Anne Hill, Seattle Jan. 22, 1922, passed away peacefully on Oct 19, 2021. She was ninety-nine.

She met her husband, Galen on Queen Anne Hill as children, their paths crossed again while Joyce was a sophomore at the University of Washington. They married a year later in 1941 and Joyce went to work at her husband’s family business, Pierce Power and Light in Idaho.

Before too long, and unable to compete with FDR’s public power program, Joyce and Galen sold the business to Washington Water Works and returned to Seattle. On a weekend trip to Orcas Island in the Spring of 1949, they pulled their Buick Roadmaster Sedan into Roger Perdue’s Eastsound 76 station for a tire repair. As the story goes, the Idaho plates caught the eye of a local realtor who quickly offered to show them Crescent Beach Cottages, a beach resort for sale just over the hill. Joyce recollected sitting on a beach log, and knowing immediately, Orcas was where she belonged and bought the property.

Joyce’s early life on Orcas holds a legacy of achievements: She helped form Orcas Singers; organized a successful fundraising event in support of the March of Dimes fight against polio; was active in the Stitch and Bitch; schooled local teens on proper dinner dance etiquette in the Parish Hall, and sewed costumes for Margaret Porter’s Dance Recitals. With her husband Galen, they helped find, and fund the original well for what became the Eastsound Water Users Association, were founding members of the Orcas Island Medical Center and charter members of the Orcas Island Yacht Club.

In 1958, Joyce and Galen leased the resort to neighbors and returned to Seattle to care for Joyce’s parents. They returned to Orcas in 1981.

During her second tenure on Orcas, Joyce was instrumental in developing the Music Advocacy Group and, upon her retirement after 20 years of service, she was honored with the creation of the Joyce Burghardt Excellence in Music Fund. Always an advocate for water sports, she taught aerobics first at Rosario’s Spa and then at Orcas Spa and Athletic Center until she was 97 years old.

Joyce was also involved with the Eastsound Planning and Review Committee; instrumental in the development of Eastsound as a walking village, and the acquisition of the village waterfront park; was a founding member of the Orcas Island Community Foundation; and served on the boards of Orcas Center, Long House, Orcas Medical Center, and Orcas Family Health, and the vestry committee for Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

She is survived by sons Galen (Birch) of Evanston and Orcas, Dick of Covington, daughter Patty (Jim) Cook of Eastsound, grandchildren Galen, Sarah, and John, and great-grandchildren Galen, Max, Violet, Brayton, and Henry. Husband Galen preceded her in death in 2005.

The celebration of her life will be July 16 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Eastsound. Friends may leave condolences and share stories at In place of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Joyce Burghardt Excellence in Music Fund, c/o MAG at P.O. Box 1171, Eastsound, WA 98245, or online at