Dancing eyes have silenced. We are so saddened to report the sudden passing of our dearest Lyn Burke of Laguna Beach. Surely she is now saying with a mischievous smile, “COVID-19 is not going to get me,” as she instead suffered an unfortunate fall outside her home on March 29.
Christine Burke, Lyn’s daughter, said, “I loved my mom. Nothing will ever separate us – I truly believe that. She was a fierce woman, loving, talented, intelligent, conscious, irreverent, funny, and incredibly creative.”
Lyn Burke was born and raised in Kennewick, Wash. and matriculated at Upper Columbia Academy, Spangle, Wash., where she was in the high school class of 1957. Lyn moved to Sacramento, Calif., where she worked in the office of California State Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally. There she met William A. Burke whom she married. In Sacramento Lyn pursued her studies in art, which became a lifelong passion. Relocating to Los Angeles, the true light of her life, Christine Burke, was born in 1967.
In 1975 Lyn relocated permanently to Laguna Beach. She was a single mom, raising Christine, working at Southwest Interior Gardens, Laguna Bank, Interior Design Institute, and pursuing her growing artistic talents. Despite that serious talent Lyn eschewed commercial notoriety, instead using her art for family, friends, and personal satisfaction.
In 1994, two single adults – Lyn Burke and Rick Balzer – found themselves volunteering together at the Laguna Beach High School snack bar during a football game where their two daughters, Christine and Shannon, attended school. By 2004, the couple was married and soon celebrating their kids’ successes, doting on grandkids, and pampering beloved cats. Lyn and Rick traveled to the four corners of the West Coast, North America, Mexico, and the world. They built and enjoyed a vacation home at Palomar Mountain.
Rick Balzer said, “I lost my best friend, guide star, and life partner. Lyn was an avid environmentalist and a supporter of many charities that cared for birds and animals. She loved literature, was an excellent artist, had a keen intellect, and a wonderful sense of humor. I salute you, my darling – you made my life complete.”
Lyn had long expressed an aversion to memorial services but said, “If you must, I want everyone to hear Lesley Gore’s song It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To. Lyn Burke is survived by her husband Rick Balzer, daughter Christine Burke Adams, son-in-law Brian Adams, grandson Jack Adams, stepdaughter Shannon Palmer and her husband Tad Palmer, and grandchildren Adele and William Palmer.
Due to the COVID-19 social protocols and Lyn’s wishes, no memorial service is planned. Lyn loved literature and supported scores of charities mostly around the themes of nature, art, fur, and feathers. Lyn would love your donation in her memory to the Nature Conservancy, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA), or Laguna Art Museum (LAM).
My Dearest Lyn,
Who could have known what direction our lives would take after our first date on August 17, 1994. We had so many experiences together after that first night where we danced to the band at Brio.
These experiences included our subsequent marriage, the marriage of each of our daughters and the birth of our grandchildren. We traveled to so many scenic and enjoyable locations together. You always impressed me with your sense of awe as each trip brought about new discoveries and knowledge. Even though you had researched them beforehand.
I remember in particular our first stay at the Albion River Inn and marveling at the highway’s wooden trestle bridge just outside our room. I believe it was that same trip that we stayed at the Benbow Historic Inn on the Eel River. Again, your homework paid dividends with our unforgettable stay.
Throughout our travels you taught me so much about the history of each locale and it’s place in the natural environment. Yet you always maintained your sense of awe as we journeyed down various roads exploring what was around the next bend in the road. Perhaps, that is an apt descriptor of our life together.
You showed me your infinite love and patience by sharing your Sunday morning crossword puzzle with me. Something you had never done before. This is an example of true love if there ever was one. However, you knew that the 10-12 words I would get were the easiest clues offered and of little challenge to you. This is just one example of how you shared yourself with me. This is because your commitment and love was so unconditional.
You taught me how to love you back and to love the wonderful world of birds that so captivated you. This led of course for your concern for the environment. You taught me that each of us can make a difference in what kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit.
You had so many lifelong friends! People were important to you and they were always keen to be with you. You respected each of them and their uniqueness and they loved you for it. So since you left on Sunday afternoon March 29th, so many of them have expressed to me just how important you were in their life.
Your departure has left a huge hole in my heart. There isn’t a thing I do or place I go that I don’t think of you and your grace. So many people have told me about your various qualities but the universal one is grace.
So my dear, I will wish you sweet dreams as you venture into the next realm. I know that you have taken your sense of humor and grace with you but those attributes and many others remain with me each and every day.
I love you darling with all of my heart.
– Rick Balzer
My mom was a fierce woman; loving, talented, intelligent, conscious, irreverent, funny, and incredibly creative. I loved her. She was the best mother a girl could have asked for and the last thing I told her is that “nothing will ever separate us.” I believe this.I could write so much more about her, but the words will fail to convey the depth of our relationship and my sadness at her passing.
– Christine Burke Adams
I have so many fond memories of my grandma so I thought I’d share a few. Whenever we went over to Grandma and Grandpas, Grandma and I would go into her room and we would look at her button collection and even sometimes her jewelry. One time she even gave me a pair of red high heels that she no longer wore and I loved them so much. A special time I spent with her was when we would go out and feed the ducks. And I enjoyed spending Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa. As I got older for my 14th and 15th birthday, she and I would go to Fashion Island to go shopping and have lunch. For my 14th birthday she got me this beautiful black dress and it is one of my favorite dresses I have. Every time my family and I would go over to their house, Grandma and I would often tease my brother in a playful manor.
She helped me on one of my art projects for school. She sketched it out and helped with placement of the objects and I finished the rest with oil pastels.
On March 29, we went to go see grandma and grandpa in the morning. I even got to see the boy cat which shocked me because usually the cats hide from my brother and I. But later on grandma got up and went to her bedroom and came back and gave me this little bracelet of hers and I haven’t taken it off since. It was so sweet of her. I told that we got an A on my art project and I also told her that I would send a picture of the project to her but unfortunately, she had her accident before I could send the photo which left me devastated that she never got to see the finished project.
My Grandma and I had a special bond. I will always cherish the memories I had with her. She’s always made sure to be there for the big moments and I’m so sad that she won’t be there for those big milestones in my life anymore. I am heartbroken that she is gone and I always knew that I was the favorite grandchild. You are forever in my heart, grandma.
I doesn’t seem real that Lyn is gone. She has always been there for her grandkids, myself and especially for my dad.
She was his laughter, happiness, and most of all, the love of his life.
Words can’t convey how much she will be missed.
With all my love,
Lyn Burke was a special woman. Not only because she was the grandmother to my two children, but because she had had so many wonderful traits. Kind, loving, artistic, classy, loved animals of all kinds, & truly had a heart of gold. She was a grandmother in truest sense; she loved to spend time with her grand kids. Her passion for art was amazing. There ways always a sparkle in her eyes that I will never forget. God looks after the special people & no doubt, he will take care of her. RIP Lyn!
W.L.”Tad” Palmer III
I will miss Grandma kisses.
Love you, William
My Aunt Lyn was the kindest and most sweetest person on the earth. What I remember the most, is when I was 17 years old, fresh out of highschool, I jumped on a plane to Los Angeles, where I was picked up by my Grandparents and Lyn’s mom and dad. They took me the very next day to Laguna Beach, where I lived with her and my cousin Christine. She got me my first job ever at a little Diner down the road where she knew the owner. I ended up staying in Laguna for the next year. I remember her laugh, humor and kindness towards me. Lunches, dinners and laying on the beach with her. In the evenings she had her tall glass of red wine while we watched movies and listened to music. She was so important to me at the time because she allowed me to start my adult life in a most magical place! At least it was to me. I will love and miss u forever, Auntie Lyn, it’s time to be with your mom, dad, and brother again.
– Laurie Draker
Linda and I were greatly saddened to learn of Lyn’s passing. She will always be remembered her as a gentle, caring and beautiful woman. It was a pleasure being around her and talking about anything, especially about art. We were fortunate to know her and we will miss her lovely presence.
Please let us know if there is anything we can do.
– Jean and Linda Stern
I am struggling to believe the lovely, talented Lyn Burke has passed away. A dear friend since our days at Upper Columbia Academy, she was a beautiful presence in this world. May God strengthen Rick and Christine with sweet memories of Lyn’s gracious, gifted life. She is already missed.
With loving thoughts,
Judy Ackerman Nash
I feel so fortunate that I got to know and spend time with you. You always had the most beautiful smile and your good sense of humor was infectious. You taught me that even when life circumstances changes that you can stay positive and make the most of it and continue to do what you loved to do. Each time I saw you, you talked about your love for your family, especially your daughter and Rick, and talked about your passion in life which was art. You also enjoyed your travels and had so many memories of your adventures with Rick. I will treasure the handmade cards I have from you, especially a drawing of the Laguna Beach canyon. I will look at this and be reminded of you. You will be missed most dearly by all.
Dearest Rick and family,
Gary and I are truly heartbroken by the news of Lyn’s death. She was such a beautiful, sweet and fun lady, whom we both loved very much. Impossible to believe we won’t see her again.
For the past 2 years, I have kept the Christmas cards you two sent us, with her beautiful drawings of Laguna Canyon on them. I treasure them, and will now keep them forever, unless you don’t have copies and would like them.
Lyn and I really bonded on our museum trip to Europe where you joined us. We are so incredibly sorry for her loss, and for you, who lost so very much.
In love and sorrow, your friends,
Gary and Betsy
All I hear is what an incredible, talented, wonderful woman Lyn was. I visited her website and her paintings are so beautiful. I wish I could have known her better.
– Carla Meberg
Lyn and I knew the benefits of using cider vinegar for a hair rinse. And I have no idea how that subject ever came up in a conversation. I will think of her each time I use it. I am so saddened to her of her passing. She was so delightful, beautiful, and sweet.
Prayers to the family and you Rick.
– Madelaine Whiteman
Christine (my favorite pitcher):
Sorry to hear about your Mom.
My thought’s & prayer’s for the Burke family.
– Coach Norm Borucki
My relationship with Lyn and Rick, while relatively new is deeply cherished, and my heart is overwhelmed with grief for Rick.
Lyn and Rick have been such active, passionate members of our Laguna Beach community. Always in attendance at our cities functions and neighborhood events, passionate supporters of the Laguna Art Museum and friends to everyone.
Lyn was such a beautiful, soft spoken woman. Elegant and artistic. Genuine and welcoming.
I can’t imagine the sorrow Rick must be feeling at this time without his beautiful partner and love by his side. My husband and I have a strong belief that they will be together again.
With love and great empathy,
We are so sad to hear the news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tom and Linda Parisi
I was fortunate enough to have Lyn as my next-door neighbor in the studio complex where we work. So some days, when I was in the studio, she would stop by on her way to her place around the corner, and we would catch up.
We shared a love for the birds in the neighborhood, and she made sure that they were all VERY well fed, and watered. Any birds that Lyn took care of, were lucky birds indeed! So sometimes our conversations were about the birds she had seen both here and other places, or the feeders that she thought were particularly effective. She made the birds feel so welcome, that one day a small hawk took the opportunity to fly through her studio, looking for his next meal. The thing about a small hawk is that they don’t seem very small when they are flying above your head at some 30 miles an hour! She was thrilled with the close encounter!
No matter what Lyn was facing, she was always upbeat and optimistic. I don’t think I ever heard her complain about anything. Most amazing, she always was turned out. Even her painting shirts had beautiful stripes of color where she wiped her brushes!
Where the rest of us look like something the cat dragged in when we are working in our studios, Lyn was put together, made up and completely presentable.
I will miss her tap on the door, her sweet smile, and her cheerful conversation.
May you Rest In Peace, Lyn. I hope you are flying with the birds that you love so much.
I was privileged to give Lyn Burke a ride home after she had her hair done on Friday, March 27, 2020. When she got in the car, she looked like a Queen with perfect hair. She thought it looked wonderful with a big smile on her face.
On the way home I asked Lyn about her life’s story. She gave me a good overview of where she had lived and different bits of her history along her life’s journey, what special that time was.
I will cherish “The Life of Lyn Burke” forever.
– Chas Aufhammer
I want you to have these photos I have of your beautiful mom, Lyn. She was a wonderful person that my husband, Jean, and I always enjoyed spending time with. We always enjoyed receiving her lovely hand-painted cards every Christmas. We felt lucky to receive them. I once spent an afternoon visiting with her in her studio on Laguna Canyon Road. It was such a fun time. She will be deeply missed.
May her memory be for a blessing.
I’m shocked and deeply sorry to hear of Lyn’s untimely passing. Her indomitable spirit, multiple talents and wonderful disposition will always remain in my memory.
Kathy and Jack King remember:
Lyn’s unspeakably lovely Christmas cards with beautifully and intricately hand painted images of colorful birds;
Lyn’s kind love of animals; and how we once saw her wince when Rick and I, callous and hungry hunters that we were, killed a few live lobster at Catalina;
Lyn’s quiet, thoughtful, interesting and interested manner around other people;
Lyn’s fortitude in enduring an attack of pancreatitis, while the rest of us partied, in Hualtuco, MX.
Lyn’s extreme patience and selflessness in putting up with Rick for all of these years!!
A beautiful bird has flown to heaven!!
A fitting poem, by Henry Van Dyke:
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, she is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me — not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, she is gone,”
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
On this sad day, when words are shadows of our emotions I am remembering Lyn.
One of my lasting memories of Lyn was quite early in our friendship. I was a friend of Ricks for some time. I camped out on an adjacent piece of land to their Palomar retreat and fell in love with it. I bought that land and started into building out the small cabin; it was a retreat for me as well from some of life’s body blows. I would be hungry, tired from work and dirty and Lyn would invite me up to their house or come over with food, supplies and a warm smile; even sheltering me in their little cabin when needed. Lyn’s food nourished my body, her spirit nourished my soul and her kindness nourished my heart. Little did I know that piece of land would come with blessings of such a person.
To me this epitomized Lyn: thoughtful, gracious, at ease with herself and the world. Grace and kindness is all I ever felt when around Lyn.
I will cherish those memories and be inspired by Lyn’s presence to pass along that grace and kindness.
Please accept my warmest condolences, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Please know I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.
To Rick and Family,
We are so sorry to hear about Lyn’s recent passing. We lost a classic lady, a true friend for many years. We had lots of fun together that we will surely miss. Lyn always had a very polite and kind way about her but also loved a good joke, that even the boys felt were funny. Please accept our love and condolences Rick, Christine, Brian and Shannon. We will miss her deeply.
Laurie and Donnie
Rick, I just heard about Lyn’s passing. I am so sorry. I wanted to let you know we were thinking of you and your family and sending our thoughtful prayers and best wishes to you.
With deepest sympathy,
Nancy and Tom Caruso
Rick and family,
I am so sorry to hear the very sad news of Lyn’s passing. She will be missed by many people. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this very sad and difficult time.
Please be safe,
My special memory is when Rick & Lyn came to visit me at my ranch house.
It was so special to spend those quiet moments with Lyn.
We hiked the hillsides, enjoyed food and laughter.
Lyn painted my ‘Dream” ranch house as a gift.
All I can say is that Rick married way above his pay graded – LOL!
Ricky, we are all fortunate to have had Lyn in our lives!
Your Old Friend
Dear Rick – I am so saddened to hear about Lyn and profoundly sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and I am so grateful to have had the fortune of knowing Lyn. Love to you and your family.
Miss Lyn Has Gone And Left Us
She’s gone on to greener pastures,
New adventures line her path.
She’s left the ducks, the birds, the lizards,
The canvases, the brushes and the paints.
But gone from here is her artistry,
Her charm, her sweetness, her grace,
Her mischievous smile and those twinkling eyes,
Hinting at thoughts she’ll not express.
Miss Lyn has gone and left us
To mourn quietly her passing.
Fond memories she could not take away
From those of us she’s left behind.
So here’s to you, Miss Lyn, my friend,
I hope you’re still tuned in…
Rest in peace, Mom, daughter, wife,
Friend to everyone, Lyn Burke.
All the years that have gone by since I have known Lyn and Rick. Hard to believe when something like this happens. Sorry for your loss Rick.
I first met Lyn less than one year ago, at a reception after two weeks in my new role with Laguna Art Museum. The first thing I noticed was that she was so very beautiful. Also, once she spoke about how many years she and Rick had lived in Laguna Beach and how much she loved this community, I noticed with her sweetness and creativity that she was beautiful on the inside as well. She will be missed by many.
– Bernadette Clemens
Rick and Family, Our Hearts go out to you and your Family at this Difficult time. Lyn was a classy and beautiful lady inside and out. I always enjoyed talking with her when we saw you both at Charity events and I had the pleasure to sit next to her a few times and I always enjoyed the nice conversations and laughs with Lyn. You two were a great couple together. I was sharing with Keith how from afar I saw you and Lyn at Gelson’s back in January and I did not realize it was you two at the time until it was too late to say hello. I was just admiring how kind you were being by pushing the cart for your wife and walking with her. You could see the love you had for each other just in the parking lot. You have a beautiful angel watching over you.
God Bless you and your Family, Julie and Keith Gallo
Best wishes Rick,
our thoughts and prayers are with you
George and Judy
I’m truly heartbroken to learn of Lyn’s passing, and wish to share my heartfelt condolences with her family and friends. Lyn was always so kind and encouraging to me personally and supportive of LPAPA and the arts. She was stunningly beautiful and gracious with a radiant smile. Being with her was like a warm hug.
She will be missed.
Our memories of Lyn Burke are dear to our heart.
When we first met Lyn we had no idea that this lovely, quiet young lady was an avid Rams fan.
She loved football season and we spent many wonderful Sundays watching the NFL games.
Lyn was a painter of birds and you could tell the love she had for them through the colors and textures she applied to her canvases.
She was beautiful, she was strong, she was kind and gentle, she was creative and most of all she was our dear friend.
John and Terry Hustwick
We’ll always remember Lyn—for her kind and gentle soul, and for the playful twinkle in her eye when she heard or thought of something funny.
Malcolm Warner, Ph.D.
So many memories of Lyn over the more than forty years!
Sitting in my kitchen eating cheese and walnut soufflé and drinking wine. And cats!
Many hours working together on the Girls Club. And cats!
Special time spent with our dear friend and mentor Gladys. And cats!
The pride in her voice whenever she spoke of her wonderful Christine. And cats!
Her soft voice and her pit bull determination. And cats!
Rest In Peace with a cat in your lap.
Dear Rick and family,
Our fond memories of Lyn go back to a chance encounter in Julian, a favorite destination of ours for weekend getaways. I imagine it was at least twenty years ago, when Wayne and I happened upon Rick and Lyn dining at a charming little restaurant where we had reservations at an adjacent table. As Rick introduced us and we chatted about our mutual enjoyment of Julian, I remember feeling that Lyn’s physical beauty ran deep. While softspoken, Lyn’s grace and kindness glowed. More recently, we had the opportunity to get to know Lyn better and learn of her artistic talent when they shared their personal art collection. Rick patiently gave us a wonderful description of each piece of art, how it was selected, tidbits about the artist, and similar illuminating details. It was when he pointed out a particularly lovely painting, saying, “this was done by a well-known artist named Lyn Burke,” that Lyn laughed and showed her humility and humor.
I can only imagine the gap she leaves in the lives of Rick and her family. She will be remembered and missed.
With love and sincere sympathy,
Faye & Wayne
I have enjoyed Lyn’s friendship for many years. I will miss the times I got to visit with her and photograph her new paintings. She would always ask me which one’s I thought were her best. I would always respond they were all beautiful and reflected her inspiration and love of painting. A loving heart full of creative spirit. She is in God’s gallery now and I’m sure he feels the same way. Rick Lang
I would always see Lyn before Rick, entering elegantly through the Laguna Art Museum doors when I was working there. It was a serene moment. She seemed to flow in, as though she were floating on her feet. Although I had to greet many people in those instances, her glittering eyes would draw me to her, to learn what mischief she had been up to, or what new idea was percolating in her mind. She drew people to her, through her warmth and prevailing kindness. I will miss her, and will miss seeing her next to Rick, but will always remember her.
Our only regret is that we did not get to know Lyn earlier in life. My husband Cody and I were fortunate spend time with her —and Rick—at Orange County Human Relations events as guests of Sue Reese. She was beautiful, elegant, humorous and kind. Then, we saw her at many Laguna Art Museum events, as well. Our condolences to Rick and other family members.
– Deborah Engle
So sorry to hear about Lyn.
She was always smiling and a pleasure to be around.
My thoughts are with you,
Lyn was such a very special person—kind, intelligent, a good conversationalist, and many more. I will miss her and extend my heart felt sympathy to Rick.
– Bob Ehrlich
Dottie and I will miss seeing Lyn at the HCC events where we have visited together over the years. Our condolences to you and the family. Her loss diminishes us all and our thoughts and prayers are with you today.
Dottie and Allen Lay
Thinking of Lyn and smiling at the times we shared! She was always so positive and upbeat and such an overall nice person.
I met Lyn in 1976 when she hired me to work at Southwest Interior Gardens, an interior plant maintenance company located on Coast Hwy. in the Woods Cover area of Laguna Beach. We had a close working relationship and also shared some times with our children who were the same age. Many who knew Lyn back then would know that she was a huge fan of the LA Rams and had season tickets on the 50 yard line. One day the Rams were at UCI for what must have been a preseason practice, so off we went with the kids to watch, even though it was raining the whole time we were there. Although her sport of choice was football, I convinced Lyn to join the Laguna Beach Women’s soccer team with me. My children were actively involved in AYSO soccer at that time, so it seemed like a great idea. We had some good laughs over that little adventure, but it was short-lived for Lyn. I mention this because most people who know Lyn probably couldn’t imagine her playing soccer!
After working together for 3 years, the company was sold, and we went our separate ways workwise but stayed in touch. At one point, Lyn and her daughter, Christine, and their African green singing finch, came to stay at my house for a few days. This might have been because their place was being tented, but I don’t recall the reason. I also had green singing finches in my backyard aviary, so her bird was happy to be able to sing with some new friends. At the time of the Laguna fire in 1993, Lyn was unable to drive home due to Coast Hwy. being closed. She took off her high heeled shoes and started walking from Crown Valley to her home in North Laguna. Apparently she stopped at my house along the way, but I had already evacuated to my son’s house in San Diego. Too bad we didn’t have cell phones at that time!
In retirement, we started meeting occasionally for lunch and to “catch up”. I would also see her at various events around town or at her art studio in the Canyon. We shared a love of nature and especially birds. I’m so grateful to have all the hand painted Christmas cars she created as they are a great reminder of my good friend, a lovely lady, and a wonderful mother to Christine.
Miss you my friend,
I will always miss Lyn Burke.Ive known her for so many years (over 35 for sure)—What a wonderful artist she was, and full of a quiet grace along with a great sense of humor.. I’ve kept every single christmas card(a print) she sent me ,and Ill treasure them for ever. She was a great wife to Rick, and Ill always feel blessed to have known her… With all sympathy,
Memories of Lyn:
My girlfriend, Sue and I had the privilege of being Rick and Lyn’s neighbors for just over 5 years. Truly they were some of the best neighbors we’ve ever had, we have so many fun memories of Lyn, and remember loads of laughs over the years. Lyn was a lover of all things nature…she would lovingly remind us when our hummingbird feeder needed to be freshened up, taking care that the little winged beauties stayed healthy. A new type of bird (new to us) would appear near the pond, and Lyn would know what species it was, what it ate and it’s unique characteristics. Then there was Ricky and Lucy, aka Good Kitty and Bad Kitty, which were a continual source of joy and entertainment. Lyn was especially kind to our aging dog, Bailey. Towards her later years, Bailey could be quite cantankerous at times, but Lyn always responded with love and compassion when Bailey was not on her best behavior! We would be getting Bailey out for a walk and would cross paths with Lyn on our way out. Bailey would bark and growl like a rabid animal (her way of saying hello…) and Lyn would respond with a smile, sometimes a short pep talk, letting her know that all that barking nonsense wasn’t going to scare her away! I loved Lyn’s heart, her intelligence, her creativity (how lucky we were to visit their beautiful home filled with Lyn’s paintings). Her grace and style along with her activism and love for her family, just a few of her qualities so many of us admired. One funny story to close… One afternoon I was working from home, and got a call from Lyn. She prefaced her call by saying, “I’m not usually a complainer, but I keep hearing a loud noise and it sounds like it’s coming from your place”. I will state here that Rick and Lyn never complained about anything! So, I looked around, trying to track the mysterious sound, but with no luck. I called her back and reported no findings, at which point Lyn laughed and said, “I found the culprit… it was my Facial buffer that was tucked in the bathroom cabinet in the “ON” position!” She had that coveted talent of being able to laugh at herself, and we did lots of laughing at ourselves. Lyn, I’ll miss you and will be eternally grateful that you graced my life with your many gifts. Rick, you are loved by so many, and we are all here for you.
I was Lyn’s hairstylist for many years and was blessed to get to spend time with her the Friday before she passed. We had a great time as always and she looked beautiful as always. She had a great since of humor and wasn’t one to talk about anything in a negative way, a beautiful spirit. Everyone will miss her greatly but we will have her memories to make us smile. Rev21:4 “and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things have passed away.” May you Rest In Peace my sweet friend.
These are some faded memories from a kid growing up in the seventies, but they are good ones that I wanted to share. It seemed to me that Lyn handled being a single mom with style and grace. She made a neat little home for herself and Chris up on Fairview Street, (was it Fairview?) and gave her daughter the over-sized bedroom, taking the smaller one for herself. The place was always neat and tidy, and she had bean bags in the living room, which from a kid’s perspective was pretty cool. I remember she really liked football, and would have the games on during the season, becoming quite vocal while watching them with passion. I thought that was cool too. I always felt very comfortable in her home, and Lyn would give Chris and I a long leash, never hindering or discouraging the crazy games and adventures we would get ourselves into. Sometimes she took us to a little restaurant in Boat Canyon, Corky’s, and this was always a kind of fun and exciting treat. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember listening to Lohman and Barkley on the times we drove with Lyn in the mornings, and the hits of the day on KHJ in the afternoons. Her car always smelled like mints. Lyn always looked great, and kept herself totally together. I remember tight jeans and high heels, and always thought she was one of the prettiest and hippest of all our moms. When I look back on those years when it was just the two of them, Lyn and Chris, I don’t think there was any doubt that her daughter was the center of her world. I am so sorry for your loss, Chris, but also glad that you had so many years with her.
In fond memory of Lyn-
Lisa Fall Toler
We couldn’t have had better neighbors on Palomar than Rick and Lyn. Of our connection with Lyn, she was Nature Girl who had a heart of gold. She loved all of nature’s creatures, and we loved our connection with her, especially about birds. We are “bird brains” and so was Lyn.
Blue sky, black oaks, lots of birds, incense cedars and silvertips are what I’m seeing.
But much more important is what I’m feeling.
The planet Nature is where I choose to be, feeling wonder at every bird, fish, plant, insect, animal and beautiful tree.
This is the world that soothes my soul.
And to save it should be our number one goal.
This is who Lyn was! And we treasure the painting of the bluebird that she gave us.
Ron and Gale
The first time I met Lyn Burke was around 1976 when I interviewed her for an administrative assistant position for a company I had recently started Southwest Interior Gardens, specializing in interior landscaping and plant rental for commercial businesses and home builders. I remember how impressed I was at Lyn’s qualifications, one of which if I remember correctly, was taking “short hand”. That certainly wasn’t a job requirement, but I have to say, whenever I watched her taking notes, I was always impressed. She was overly qualified for what the position entailed, but was excited about working locally in Laguna. We had a great time working together for a couple of years. I ended up selling my interest in the company to my investors and she stayed on. A few years later, I helped recruit Lyn to take the position of executive assistant to the President of The Laguna Bank, NA, a community bank formed around 1980 with a group of local Laguna residents. We all felt very fortunate to have her working at the Bank. Our family ties crossed again when daughter Shannon attended and later graduated from the Interior Design Institute in Newport Beach where Lyn was employed in the late 80’s. I was happy to hear when Rick and Lyn started seeing one another and was delighted to attend the wedding reception at the Hotel Laguna. My wife and I always looked forward to receiving Rick and Lyn’s Christmas card with Lyn’s original art. We will miss you Lyn and cherish our memories with you.
What I remember about Lyn is that she was such a lovely woman. She seemed to always have a smile on her face and was always so gracious and genteel. I know she will be missed by the many folks who knew her and loved her. Blessings to her family and many friends.
Such sad news about the passing of a lovely, gracious and talented lady. We send our prayers and sympathy to the family on their loss.
Susan and Rich Gordinier
You left without saying goodbye. . . . We forgive you, of course, but please send us all a virtual hug!
Whenever I think of you, Lyn, I remember breakfast at the Davenport. Breakfast in Spokane before we attended to the business that brought us there. It was about 15 years ago.
Over breakfast, you began quietly to share with me and Rick stories about the time you lived in Eastern Washington. Softly, you spoke of boys and school, men and marriage, naïveté and life experience. Decades briefly came to life as if never departed. . . . You were so human, beautiful, and mesmerizing.
When breakfast was done, you added a wry smile, bringing warmth to the morning light. Thank you, Lyn, for breakfast at the Davenport.
With love my friend,
Dear Rick -We are so very sad to hear of Lyn’s unexpected passing. Our thoughts are deeply with you and your family at this time.I wanted to share a memory of Lyn – We were all dining at Luciano’s soon after Rick and I moved here and we didn’t know anything about Pageant of the Masters OR Sawdust. Lyn very kindly offered to take me to Sawdust, via the trolley – which I also knew nothing about. We met in the parking lot of your office and she guided me through the 2 changes to get from one trolley to the other to get to the grounds. We chatted and laughed as we strolled around Sawdust, and then got on the trolleys to return back to pick up our cars. During the ride back, she held my hand and laid her head on my shoulder for a short time. It was a most touching moment. Lyn was a most elegant, quiet and beautiful woman. I will always remember her kindness and willingness to help out a ‘newbie’ in town start to find her way through this new community.
Much love and prayers to you,
Kitty and Rick Malcolm
My memories of Lyn begin with her art. Lyn created plein air works of insight and beauty. Chris and I have one of Lyn’s paintings, “Spring in the Canyon,” filled with light and color and elegance, like Lyn. You can almost see the soft grasses moving in the breeze. But my strongest memories of Lyn are around her feistiness. I remember one day 5 years ago when Lyn and I were waiting to hear Gloria Steinem speak at a packed Planned Parenthood event. We were both early and found a quiet spot to sit and talk. Magically, we both talked about our childhoods, growing up, and what mattered to us. I learned a lot about the sources of Lyn’s strength that day. A little over 3 years ago, Lyn and I converged with kindred spirits in Washington, D.C. for the Million Women March. Lyn was a fighter for social justice, equality, and women’s reproductive rights. She was politically astute and saw the need to act. And she wore great dangly earrings that were glamorous and made you pay attention. That’s how I remember Lyn Burke.
My heart is heavy as I start to write this memorial for my dear friend, Lyn Burke. I want to share with all of you my fond memories of Lyn, the artist. She always had a bright smile and a warm comment when I would ask her if she had been painting lately. It was definitely a passion for her. I have saved every hand written and hand painted Christmas card she has sent me through the years. As I look back through these cards today, my heart is being filled with a renewed love and joy for the amazing friend that I will miss so very much. Lyn, I pray that you are painting every day now.
Love, Yvonne Boseker
I’ve known Rick and Lynn for a long time and I knew her to be a good wife to Rick and a good grandma. I know she was a talented artist, and a very nice lady, and we will all miss her.
Sincerely, Mike Newby
Matt and Mary Lawson want to express our deepest sympathies to Rick and Lyn’s family on the tragic loss of this beautiful and kind lady.
Our favorite memories of Lyn and Rick were the wonderful Saturday trips with the Laguna Art Museum historic arts council to visit private art collections and special museum exhibits around Southern California. As an artist herself we so enjoyed Lyn’s special enthusiasm and appreciation for the many beautiful collections we saw. Her sweet and calm demeanor enhanced every outing. Her presence and kindness will be so sadly missed.
With love, Mary and Matt
My wife Irene and I were so very saddened to hear of Lyn’s passing. Lyn was a beautiful soul that illuminated our gallery when she and Rick visited. Shy had a great eye for beauty in art.
Upon entering our gallery she immediately would be drawn to our best paintings, identifying the fine points.
Lyn was a very fine artist in her own right. We always looked forward to receiving Lyn and Rick’s holiday cards. They were beautiful scenes that she would hand paint. We felt very special to receive those cards.
We were blessed to have known Lyn. She’s was a sweet beautiful lady inside and out.
With Best Wishes,
Irene and George Stern
I was blessed to know Lyn through my business relationship with Rick. My husband and I had the pleasure of dining with them at our favorite restaurant, Wild Sage, in Spokane. It was a memorable night with a kind and beautiful woman. Her handmade Christmas cards will always be cherished. I hope Lyn’s loved ones find comfort and healing in the days ahead.
When I think of Lyn I think of sparkly eyes and a sincere smile. I first met Lyn when she worked with Joan at the Laguna Bank back in the early 80’s. Joan always spoke very highly of Lyn and she seemed a calming influence in what was a pretty chaotic business venture . After moving from Laguna my limited contact with old friends was at the annual Triple Bogie golf tournament. When I would see Lyn she would always greet me with a hug and a smile and I knew it was sincere. She was also kind enough to laugh at my jokes. Lyn was never one to brag or try and bring attention to herself which was a rare trait in our crowd. I’m not excluding myself in the latter. I was happy for both Rick and Lyn when they got together because they seemed like a great couple and I admired them both. We are now all getting to an age (who would have been crazy enough to take the over on that bet) where little pieces of our past are disappearing into the rear view mirror. Lyn is now gone and will be missed but the memories will always be there. Rest in peace Lyn.
One of my most favorite places my partner, Becky and I lived was upstairs from Lyn and Rick in Laguna Niguel. It was such a sweet spot over looking the pond at West Nine. Not only did we score on the view but having them as neighbors was the true blessing. Lyn’s knowledge and love of nature gave spring a new meaning. We would celebrate the yearly newborn chicks swimming across the pond, mourn the ones we lost and learn the proper feeding instructions for the ducks and Hummingbirds alike. I think she was a ornithologist by heart. There wasn’t a bird she couldn’t identify and that she didn’t love and tend to. Her morning ritual feeding the ducks was my favorite. We would watch them walk single file directly to Lyn’s patio. They knew where the love was. That single act and her love of all animals speaks volumes about who Lyn was. Our aging pooch named Bailey didn’t make many friends in her life but Lyn was one of them. Lyn completely look past ALL the bad behavior and saw only her goodness. In fact, Bailey even nipped her on the leg and she still loved her anyway. Bailey didn’t trust or love many but Lyn made the list with her constant unconditional love. I couldn’t be more grateful for the kindness she gave her. We also got the unique pleasure of becoming friends. We shared some great dinners together. Rick’s great Swordfish and Lyn would make a side dish. She never prided herself on her cooking skills but we thought it was fabulous(one made with polenta was my favorite. We loved hearing about their travels and their lives. And getting the Art walk with Lyn was alway’s a treat. Wow! is she talented! We loved watching them leave for a Local Community Event. What a gorgeous couple they made and Lyn was always absolutely stunning. There wasn’t a Fundraiser or community event that they weren’t apart of. And their constant support of Community is so reflective of how deeply they cared. My Partner operates a local Non-profit, ‘Tony’s Treehouse’ in Laguna Beach. And Rick and Lyn’s love and support runs deep. We could always count on seeing their beautiful faces at all of our Events. And their continued love and support for us and the rest of our Community is quite a legacy. We are beyond grateful!
Lyn, you will missed. Thank you for leaving the world all your beautiful work and leaving me with such sweet memories and loving friendship!!
Love Speed my Friend FLY FREE!!!
Oh, Lyn … the memories, even this far distance from Laguna. As we gaze upon your Christmas card painting, “Laguna Canyon #3” from a few short months ago, and displayed full time in our home; along with all the years of your wonderfully painted cards that we have received and saved …. We are honored to have them to cherish. Many wonderful memories! The dinners at Wild Sage. The breakfasts at The Davenport Hotel. Your wanting a hotel massage rather than being with us at Arthur Court. Our visits to your Laguna Canyon art studio. Our, at times, rather spirited conversations.
Memories …. Mike and Tanya Rice, Spokane
We had so much fun when we flew to Washington D.C and joined a historic size crowd to protest the 2016 election- we stayed very close to the Mall so that we could walk everywhere, then shared a hotel room and talked and laughed all night. my kind, witty beautiful and sensitive friend- I will miss you so much.
Lyn was like having many great friends all in one awesome person. She was so beautiful, smart, classy, artistic, quirky, loyal and had a keen sense of humor. She was a proud mother of a beautiful daughter and a true advocate of all critters great and small, especially her beloved cats and birds. Much like her stunning Plein Air artwork, she brought realism, luminous light and clarity to life its self, an inherent connection between friends and animals alike. I am so thankful to have known this extraordinary and fascinating being, a true free spirit forever.
It is with heavy hearts that we write to express our sadness at the passing of your precious Lyn. She truly lit up every room she ever entered. We will forever remember her as the beautiful artist, always elegant, graceful, thoughtful and deeply sensitive to nature and humanity. She was kind, gentle and delightfully playful. We will miss our friend but will be reminded of her and her love for you every time we see you. We hope to see you often.
Lou and Laura
I was fortunate to include Lyn in Dental Practice here in Laguna for many years. One of the fun things I always looked forward to were days that she had an appointment at the office. As many of you know, my office was disguised as a fine art and antique oriental rug gallery!! Lyn, not only being an accomplished artist and aficionado in her own right, would spent 90% of her appointment time not in the Dental chair, but walking up and down the hallways and in the private rooms analyzing paintings and Orientals , with me enjoying every minute!!!!!
Usually at the end of our hour together, Darlene, my front desk manager (and boss!) would come back to wherever Lyn and I were having fun enjoying Art (instead of me doing some tedious procedure in her mouth!!) and announce that we’d have to make a new appointment for her so we could complete what was really supposed to be done!!!
I will truly miss those times.
With fond memories.
It was an honor to have Lyn as a patient and as a friend. Her smile always brightened my day, and no matter how she was feeling she always had a wonderfully cheerful disposition. Lyn’s beautiful outlook on life and warm heart was refreshing, and she touched the lives of those around her. She will be dearly missed. My love and prayers go out to her family and friends.
Dr. Jordan Martin DC
So sorry to learn about Lyn’s death. Our thoughts are with you during this sad time. We know the void is great and we hope in time her memory will bring you smiles and be a blessing.
Fondly, Diane and Igal Silber
I met Lyn right about the time she first moved into Laguna Beach. She’s always been such a beautiful, feminine, gracious, soft, sweet, kind lady. My favorite memories were when I would tease Lyn with Rick standing next to her. I would tell her that she was far too good for Rick! She would just smile, giggle a little while Rick would agree and break into his laughter. I had no idea how old Lyn was until Rick told me today. I’ve always thought she was at least 10 years younger than me.
Dear Rick and Christine…
I am so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to believe that I won’t see Lyn again but I know your loss is far greater and I’m sure that you miss her every second. Since Rick called with the news on Monday I’ve been thinking about the many memorable times Lyn and I shared during 40+ years of friendship.
We met when we both worked for Southwest Interior Gardens (SWIG) in Laguna. It was WORK during the day and PARTY at night. There were many hours spent at Tortilla flats which was just up the highway from SWIG.
I’ll never forget Lyn coming to work late one day. She had gotten into her car to take Christine to school and then to come to the office. The car was parked in the carport and she started the car, put it in reverse ….and went nowhere!…. She got out of the car to discover that it was sitting on blocks as someone had stolen the wheels…..! I still laugh so hard just thinking of that story…..
Over the years we took a number of weekend trips. Palm Desert where we went Hot Air Ballooning. We flew over the citrus ranches in Indio and our pilot lowered the balloon so that we could pick grapefruit from the top of the trees. He then ascended so that we could drop the grapefruit and try to hit the highway below. The highway looked like just a thin line from that height….. (no cars around, as it was early in the morning) . It was soooo much fun!!!
We also went to the national Chili cook off in Rosamond, CA. I think we stayed in some questionable motel in Bakersfield! We always had the best time! It was easy for us to find the silliest things to laugh about.
Then there’s Maui… Lyn had been in Maui for a couple of months staying with Margaret. When I arrived I rented a condo in Lahaina and Lyn stayed with me. What a week! Suffice it to say there was alcohol involved. Along with that there was lots of beach time, sailing, great food and, did I mention alcohol! The night before we were to depart, Lyn to the mainland and me to the Big Island, we all went to Kimo’s in town for a farewell. Cosmos were served all around and served again & again….. We left the next morning and I honestly don’t know how we got to the airport. I had a rental car so I must have driven! I do remember standing in line to board our plane and Lyn and I having to lean on each other in order to keep upright. There was a Couple in front of us arguing over a pineapple!!! We both wanted to ask them to ‘ shut up’!…but neither of us could summons the energy to speak…..Don’t know about Lyn but I haven’t had a Cosmos ever again!
Many many lunches, dinners and gatherings… In later years Lyn, Bali and I would meet for lunch calling ourselves the 3 SWIG’S as we had remained friends from all those years ago.
Lots of Art Exhibits including those that featured Lyn’s artwork.What an incredible talent. I will always cherish Lyn’s painting of Moss Point that hangs in my home.
Lyn was very special person in my life and she will truly be missed. I looked forward every year to the original artwork on her Christmas cards, and always with a hand written note. I have every Christmas card that she sent to me. Lot’s and lot’s of love to be sure….
I know this is an unprecedented time in our lives but I do hope there will be someway to celebrate Lyn’s life in the future…
I shall miss her terribly….
Dearest Burke, Balzer and Adams Families, we are so very saddened by Lyn’s passing and we so share your loss. But I do feel that she’s looking over us all now with a mischievous smile and saying to me, “keep this short, be upbeat, and if you want to mourn, do something nice for my furry or feathered friends. And support a local artist while you’re at it!” Anyway, Lyn was the genuine article. A bright and charming hostess with loving grace and a wicked little sense of humor. Rest In Peace, dear Lyn. And yes, Rick promises that he will take good care of the kitty cats!
Dennis and Choo Choo Boyer
Lyn was such a gentle, kind and loving woman. She loved her family including her cats, her home, her garden and her art. She was so sincerely sweet and caring. Mostly beautiful. I wish I had the opportunity to know her better. Rest well, gently soul. Much love to all of her family and friends
There are so many things to miss about Lyn. She was one of the kindest, most loving, and gentle people I know, as well as a steadfast friend. I first met her 30 years ago when she and I and my husband Blair were assigned to be office mates at the Interior Designers Institute when we moved into a new building in 1990. Every break during every class we were together in this windowless room, which eventually became the copy room. We talked and shared our lives and became friends. My husband, Blair, has passed away, but he also thought the world of her. As time went on and she met Rick, we were fortunate to be invited to their small intimate wedding. She wouldn’t show me her dress, but promised it would be something different. And it was. She looked radiant in a lovely black gown! The four of us had dinners together and we visited them in Palomar, and they visited us in Santa Fe. For several years Rick organized amazing art based day trips sponsored by the Laguna Art Museum. I loved everything about them. We went to Los Angeles, Palm Springs and even a multi-day trip to Santa Fe. Those magical days were enhanced by all the hours I got to spend with her.
Lyn was a wonderful and talented plein air artist. I used to come and visit her in her studio during the last 6 or so years and see what she was working on and catch up on our lives. I love the paintings that I have of hers- one of Heisler park, and one she gifted to Blair and I of a New Mexico landscape. She was a giving person and was very encouraging about my artistic endeavors, as well. They are a forever reminder of her.
I always associate her with her love of birds. She was very knowledgeable about them, and was an avid bird watcher and bird feeder! She did, however, take care to keep her beloved cats and the birds apart.
Lovely, loving, gracious, kind, caring, quiet, charming, funny, artistic, and devoted friend. I love you!
Lyn always had a warm and twinkling smile – a little mischievous, like maybe she was up to something. One of the things I loved about her was that I could always share a little gossip with her. We had many giggles together over the years. But I never ever heard her say an unkind word about anybody. I will miss her greatly.
We suffer our loss of Lyn. We have lost a valued friend. We ache with you, Rick, for the loss of your beloved and grieve the loss of her creative spirit. We are sorrowful for the loss of the happy greetings we have shared at get-togethers and galas and celebrations of giving. We’re grateful to Lyn for sharing her art, for her caring support of others, and for her generous hospitality. We thank Lyn for the gift of happy memories which, in time, will outlive the sadness of her loss.
– Bill and Sharon Wood
“Precious jewel, you glow, you shine, reflecting all the good things in the world.” Maya Angelou captured Lyn in those words. Lyn was at every event that would help others.
She and Rick have been models of community sprit and their living by example was an inspiration to us all.
We will miss her guidance and positive self in these dark days but know by keeping her candle lit we can still find her guidance in our hearts.
She is missed by all!!!
– The Abels
Lyn and I bonded over our annual Christmas cards. As someone who hand makes my own cards I especially appreciated getting Lyn and Rick’s card every year. I loved the personal touch of her hand painted cards and, although she painted a new landscape every year, it was always authentic, beautiful and uniquely personal just like Lyn herself. I will miss you Lyn, especially every year at Christmas
– Sandi Genovese
When I think of Lyn my thoughts are…..lovely, kind, sweet, and fun.
Lyn was a joy to be around. One of my favorite trips to Santa Fe was with the Laguna Art Museum and of course, Lyn & Rick. We stayed at La Posada and had many wonderful art excursions but I specifically remember having breakfast outside in the garden at the hotel with Lyn and Rick both mornings. It was a perfect setting. I was traveling with Barbara Clarence and met Donna & Blair Ballard for the first time on that trip. All important people in my life.
I had the pleasure of visiting Lyn in her Laguna Beach studio a few times and always loved seeing her work……so peaceful, tranquil, and
beautiful….. just like Lyn.
Rest In Peace Lyn, you are loved!
– Mary Ferguson
May the sunset put a warm glow
on your face.
May the sound of the ocean put
a calm in your soul.
You are in Heaven now, missed
but not forgotten.
We know you are looking down on us
because we are looking up at you.
With love and peace to you,
Lyn Burke-Balzar, a perennial artist
On our cream wall now
A framed pane of grand oak crowns
Bolstering the azure–
In a morning’s hike
Through the forest of our ranch
She snaps that blink in wisps of oils.
Carol and I recall with smiles the special demeanor—that simple, unforced, natural presence—of a woman content being a woman; happy to be who she was and where she was: with you, and her paintings…a sweet pairing!
Some people convey their need to present themselves the way they believe the world wants them to be—not Lyn; her take-it-or-leave-it quietness and good humor was a pleasure to be in the company of. When she talked of her granddaughter, that quietness would take a hiatus oh, how she loved being a grandmother! And Lyn making fun of herself for putting on make-up…to take off her years…was a comedy club routine, cute and funny.
A quality Lyn projected, without making a big deal over it, was her independence, a quiet fearless, common sense that allowed her to bend some rules with ease of purpose: her love of the Egyptian geese that frequented your sunny morning, golf course patio. Quack, quack, quack, they’d come waddling up for their breakfast (or brunch, or snack, or early dinner—sprinkled all over the patio’s perimeter…and, at no charge by Lyn, and always with a big welcome smile and throaty laughter.
And, how we loved and anticipated Christmas, Rick, as we looked forward to your—her—Christmas postcard painting…Santa was good to her and to us; we felt lucky to be on your list.
Recalling these few memories saddens us, of course, but our thoughts are so positive and loving, the sadness quickly dissipates into life’s nature of love and beauty.
May both of you continue to give us the joy and pleasure of your mutual friendship and goodness, forever.
Bill and Carol Zarkades
Today, a donation was pledged to Laguna Art Museum by the Wenrick Family.
“In memory of Lyn Burke”
– Robin, Ed, Ty & Trey
We will greatly miss dear Lyn – a beautiful, serene and welcoming friend. We always enjoyed spending time with you two and are so sorry for her sudden passing. We wish you and your family peace at this difficult time.
Tim & Lyn Carlyle
For us the loving memory we have of Lyn, besides her beautiful soul, is the arrival of one of her most incredible hand painted scenes of nature in the form of a holiday greeting card. We have saved them all and they will be treasured forever.
– Marolyn and Myron
Tears are running down my face. My friend has gone on. She was so very kind to me. I was no one but someone she saw. She knew I wanted more for our town for art and for the museum. Her kindness was to buy me my first year membership to the Laguna Art Museum. What a kind gesture. And that was the start of our friendship. So kind, so friendly, always welcoming and the epitome of elegance. I would seek her out at events to say hello and re engage. I will miss that adventure and that warmth that was always extended and was so truly appreciated over and over. She accepted my invitation to the community garden 10th anniversary gala and, of course, it was my divine pleasure to see her elegant and cool as ever. You will be horribly missed and wonderfully thought of – forever!
– Ruben Flores
What a gal! I will miss her wicked sense of humor. Her tremendous grace. Her keen intelligence. Her devotion those who loved her.
Memories – I only met Lyn a few years ago … we met at a time when she had started to become concerned about her own memory. Lyn had a remarkable self-awareness about what she could and could not do. I learned so much from her…. She taught me much about how to age with grace and humor.
We spent a lot of time meditating together. She came to our meditation together with a lifetime of yoga practice. A few months ago after we had been doing seated mediation together, I suggested we try some mindful movement. I figured a few stretches and bends between two old gals. We started to bend towards the floor. I slowed down well before my hands touched the floor. I looked over at Lyn who had easily brought her hands flat to the floor and her head to her shins. She then engaged in stretching and moving with extraordinary flexibility and ease.
What was so sweet is she made no effort to show off or make me feel like a dumpy frumpy. She just mentioned she had been doing this for a long time. And with her usual poise and empathy she managed to help me feel better about being so surpassed by someone 8 years older.
Another memory is when Lyn took me to her art studio. She was trying to decide if she should close it down. I recall her taking me from item to item giving me a piece of history about some of her favorite creations. And she was very self-critical about pieces she wanted to do over or finish. It was a lovely sunny afternoon. She showed me some of sketches and paintings of Laguna Canyon and local beaches. I recall an amazing piece of a tree in the canyon, one I had driven by hundreds of times, and one that she had captured in such exquisite detail and love. Today each time I pass that tree, I appreciate in a new way and with Lyn in my heart.
Lyn – I miss you. I am glad you allowed me to be your friend. I remember you as the vivid beautiful person you were. Thank you.
Dear Rick and Friends, Family of your beloved life partner, Lynn –
We would have kept you forever
But that is not life’s way
Yet for your sake we know
That death must have It’s sway
So, we no longer commune in physical form
Our communion now of the heart
But if I call your name, your essence is here
So in Truth, we are never apart
Yet, one day, we, too, will travel that road
Through veil so thin between realities
Then we shall meet again “face to face”
Our love never tarnished by times banalities
So go, dear Lynn, upon your journey
To stars and galaxies beautiful and vast
Celestial music and peaceful fields
Until that day, we will meet again, at last.
With tenderest thoughts and prayers.
– Rev. Patricia Truman
A gift of $100 was received for Laguna Art Museum from Judy McKay.
“In memory of Lyn Burke”
Hello everyone. How do you describe an Angel on earth. Lyn was kind hearted and a great loving spirit. Her love of art is how Laura an I meet her. We were members of the Lag historic art museum group. We did numerous art trips together. Her smile could light up a room. And keen eye for art was apparent in her own passion to paint. She donated and help others in way she could. Rick were so sorry for your lose. She’s in our hearts thank for sharing her with Laura and me. Sincerely,
There really are no words for how much I will miss my dearest friend. I knew when we met in 1978 that we would always be best friends and love each other forever.
My partner in crime in our younger days, working our way home to Laguna after work – Studio Cafe, Quiet Woman, Las Brisas, Hemingway’s – so many stories (Lyn was a great storyteller!) and good times with friends along the way.
So many things in common, indie movies at the Port and Balboa Theaters, shopping in Laguna, plays at the Playhouse, and sharing favorite books (all of Margaret Atwood’s).
Many, many years making memorable Thanksgiving dinners together with kids and significant others, who could forget her famous rice stuffing? Celebrating our Scorpio birthdays every November, our favorite spot poolside at the Montage for lunch. Working together at IDI helping countless students and graduates achieve their dreams.
Glamorous, brainy, funny, talented, elegant, intellectual, she loved her darling daughter Christine and her wonderful husband Rick beyond measure. Lucky in love, a romance for all time.
Goodbye my beautiful friend. No one will ever rock a pair of high heels like you did.
Lyn was such an important and meaningful part of my life in so many ways. A friend to laugh with, a support system, a brilliant source of information and knowledge…she was an aura of warmth that just slipped in like a magical hug with a kick in the butt when needed.
Style and grace.
The gift of her Christmas art remains as a fixture on my mantel…it makes me smile.
– Joan Chapman
I can’t recall the artist whose seascape Lyn and I were admiring – perhaps it was George Gardner Symons. However, my memory of standing beside her in an art collector’s living room, as she explained why the painting moved her to tears, is as clear as a bright, sunny day. Lyn, a passionate plein air painter, often attended museum-hosted tours of private art collections. It was at these events that I most enjoyed spending time with her. It was my opportunity to see art through the eyes of an artist. That afternoon, as we looked at frothy whitewater pounding a rocky shoreline, the blue-green waves of the painting carried her thoughts out to sea. The physical energy of nature, captured by the artist, had transfixed her. Maybe I can’t recall the name of the artist because, at that moment, I was so affected by another artist, Lyn. I felt lucky that she was willing to share with me such a personal moment. While we stood together, I imagined her returning to her studio to create in paint a scene with the same emotional impact that overcame her that day. Lyn likely did not know that by sharing that moment with me, she had created a picture in my mind more emotive than that seascape by an artist whose name I can’t recall.
– Robert Hayden
All the years that have gone by since I have known Lyn and Rick. Hard to believe when something like this happens. Sorry for your loss Rick.
Your genuine, knowing smile, elegance and witty sense of humor will truly be missed.
I remember seeing a special painting in Rick’s office. Rick being the connoisseur of art, plus the beauty of the artwork, I knew it was a masterpiece. The master of this painting was you ! You were so blessed in life with talent. It was always heartwarming how Rick called you “his bride.”
Chad and I loved the dinners, special events and the LA Art Show, such fun times with you and Rick.
Thank you for sharing your gifts, charm and goodness.
Sending thoughts and prayers to you, Rick and your family.
Shauna and Chad Covington