Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | April 11, 2020

Friends of Rick and Lyn

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Many of you knew East Graders, Rick Balzer and Lyn Burke.  They were an active part of the Palomar community for 10 years.  They restored a small cabin on their land and then built a beautiful home.  It was Lyn’s passion to feed the birds.  About every two weeks they would drive over to Julian Bird Store and get 100 pounds of sunflower seeds and 50 pounds of their wild bird seed.  All their feathered friends were waiting at the cabin for them.  Even the turkeys had a feast with traveling back and forth, grazing under the bird feeders with Lyn and Rick watching the amazing show often just a few feet away from their deck.   She always seem to have a camera with her to capture many photos of their happy memories on Palomar.

LYN BURKE (1939-2020)

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 29th.

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, WA and matriculated at Upper Columbia Academy, Spangle, WA where she was in the high school class of 1957. Lyn moved to Sacramento, CA 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, CA. 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 were married and soon were celebrating their kid’s 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 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).

You are invited to visit the website for Lyn:

Also, your written thoughts and memories would be appreciated by the family by simply commenting below – thank you!

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