Marie Burkhardt, 99

March 2, 1915 - May 7, 2014
Marie Burkhardt, March 2, 1915 - May 7, 2014

Marie Edwards Burkhardt, who was the last of her generation of Amagansett Edwardses, died on May 7 of pneumonia at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach. She was 99.

Mrs. Edwards came from a family that was among the first colonists to arrive in what would become East Hampton Town. Her father, Herbert N. Edwards, who was born in 1870, was a fisherman and whaler who took part in the last whale chases here and was East Hampton Town supervisor for two terms in the 1920s and ’30s.

Marie Udell Edwards was born at home in Amagansett on March 2, 1915. Her mother, the former Mary Anna Udell, was from an East Marion family. She went to the Amagansett grade school and East Hampton High School, then graduated in 1935 from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pa., where she had been head of her class and also served as her graduating class’s president until her death.

She returned to Long Island, becoming a teacher in the Westhampton Beach public school. Later, she taught middle school in Maryland. Throughout her life, a house on Amagansett’s Main Street was her summer home, and the family kept a camp on the beach at Gardiner’s Bay.

She met a Navy midshipman, John Burkhardt, who would become her husband, when his ship was anchored off Three Mile Harbor in 1936. They married about four years later at the Bremerton Navy Yard in Washington State.

The couple moved around the country during Mr. Burkhardt’s naval career. She volunteered at military hospitals, for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, for various church organizations, and as a Girl Scout leader.

Once Mr. Burkhardt retired from the Navy, they called Mundelein, Ill., home and stayed there 30 years until they moved to Virginia Beach in 1997.

Her siblings, Elizabeth E. Davis, Lillian E. Hostetter, Herbert N. Edwards Jr., and Marshall Edwards, and a grandson died before her. She is survived by her sons John Burkhardt III of Mundelein and Philip E. Burkhardt of Ridgefield, Conn., and a daughter, Mary Thrush of Virginia Beach, as well as five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Burkhardt’s family said that she was a true optimist, someone who always listened to others and provided solid advice. “She was a great, caring mother, a constant reader, a true friend to many, always looking for the best in people and had a smile for everyone,” they said.

A memorial for her will be held at the Atlantic Shores Retirement Community in Virginia Beach on June 7 at 2 p.m. The Rev. Jeremy Jinkins of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church is expected to officiate.

Donations have been suggested to the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, where she attended services, at P.O. Box 764, Amagansett 11930.