Published in The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA)on 11/8/2007.
I am not a relative nor do i know any further information on this person- i am simply posting obituaries found in my local paper.
Kathryn Laura Nilsen Burdick, it is with tremendous sadness that the family announces her passing from lung cancer at the age of 70. Kathryn went from her home to Gods home on October 31, 2007 surrounded by numerous family and friends.
She was born to William Oscar Nilsen and June Anna Alice Troyer Nilsen on June 4, 1937 in Milwaukee, WI. She moved with her parents to Hollywood, CA when she was 16 and graduated from Hollywood High School in 1954. Kathryn went on to a modeling career and even dated a few famous Hollywood actors until meeting William Arthur Tyhurst.
She married William in 1955. They had two daughters, Christy Lee and Victoria Lyn, though the marriage was short lived. Kathryn decided to move away from tinsel town in 1964 to raise her children in Northridge, CA. There she met an old boyfriend from High School, Lawrence Griessinger.
They married in 1965 and had a home on Gresham Street which Kathryn made the hangout for all the neighborhood kids. Kathryn's passions were singing, dancing and her family. She sang to her daughters almost every night before bed. She loved family barbecues at the park and in her backyard where everyone played bad mitten.
Kathryn loved life. The home she made for her family was filled with love, laughter and an occasional food fight. There was always fun happening around her because of her loving, vivacious spirit. Hard times fell on her in 1970 when her only sibling, Doris Conforti died at an early age of 40. Kathryn did her best to take on the role of mother for her two nephews, John and Tom and her niece Katie. These children, now adults, have said they were blessed to have Aunt Kay in their lives. Kathryn's marriage to Lawrence didn't survive either. She had to take on double shifts as a waitress to support her children. In doing so she met the love of her life, Scott Lynn Burdick.
They went on to be married 26 years having one son Erik Scott. In the course of their marriage they moved to Palm Springs, CA in 1976 and started a business, The Desert Hot Springs BMX Race Track and ran it together from 1981 to 1992. Kathryn loved helping children and was loved by all her patrons at the track. Every year their business would help in the Toys for Tots drive during Christmas time. She loved dressing up the Harley Davidson Motorcycle and riding in the parade. Kathryn's most favorite hobby was taking long rides on their motorcycle, but her joy in life was her two grandchildren, Natasha Lee and Nicholas James who called her "Mema".
Late in life, around 60 years old, she moved to Palm Desert, CA and found herself drawn to the theatre. With her beautiful singing voice and fantastic acting ability she performed in numerous plays around the desert, mainly at the acclaimed Joslyn Senior Center. She also worked hard on props, costumes and setting the stage. Kathryn's last big accomplishment was being there for the birth of her great granddaughter July 29th of this year, who was named after Her "Kathryn Elyse".
Kathryn is survived by her children, Christy Loza and her husband, Michael Loza, Victoria Tyhurst and Erick Burdick. Mema is survived by her grandchildren, Natasha Fleming, Nicholas Xalis and by her great granddaughter, Kathryn Elyse Carian.
On Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. there will be a Celebration of Life service at the Joslyn Senior Center in the Clark Auditorium at 73-750 Catalina Way in Palm Desert, CA.
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