IN MEMORIAM: Joan Barrett Burnham

Joan Barrett Burnham, 88, passed away peacefully on December 19, 2021 at The Somerset House in Vero Beach, Florida. Joan was predeceased by her husband Brad Burnham, loving spouse of eighteen years, and her first husband H. Grady Barrett, Jr., the father of their three children.

Born on July 15, 1933 to Dr. Julian Lawson Jopling and Dr. Anna Hammond Jopling, Joan grew up in Paris, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Ever a proud Texan and loyal Pi Phi sorority sister, she and her family moved northward to Hudson, OH where they had many friendships and lasting memories. Joan was responsible for the foundation of her family by involving them in Christ Episcopal Church in Hudson. She was known by her family and friends for her sweet and dignified disposition, her common-sense nature, her gracious hospitality and elegant sense of style, and her unwavering and genuine faith in her Lord.

Joan obtained a master’s degree in counseling later in life and used her great knowledge of nutrition to help any and all who would listen to become healthier in mind and body. This accomplishment enabled her to become director of a nursing home in Victoria, TX.

Joan married Brad Burnham in April 1994 at Fishers Island, NY. They relocated and moved to Vero Beach, FL where they quickly developed a community of friendships through their involvement in church, the Moorings, and several social and charitable groups. They were particularly committed to Habitat for Humanity of Indian River County, where Brad, with her at his side, made a big difference in the lives of many seeking affordable housing. Every summer they would travel back to Fishers Island, NY where Brad’s extended family had been rooted for many years and where they experienced many wonderful times with family and friends in that community.

Joanie lived life fully with a sense of joy. Her spirit was positive and hopeful. Even in her last days she would famously describe things as “A++!”

Joan is survived by her three adoring sons: H. Grady Barrett III (Samantha) of Kansas City, MO, the Rev. John H. Barrett (Barbara) of Vero Beach, FL, and Andrew L. Barrett (Marlene) of Powell, OH as well as her eight grandchildren. She is also survived by five step-children: Robin Owen (Timothy) of Bozeman, MT, R. Bradford Burnham III (Mary) of New York, NY, Sarah Malinowski (Steve) of Fishers Island, NY, David C. Burnham II (Heather) of Fishers Island, NY, and Rachel Van Voorhis (Charlie) of Mattapoisett, MA with 17 step-grandchildren and 13 great step-grandchildren. Joan is also survived by her two sisters: Jan J. Seiler of Stevens Point, WS, and Betty J. Weger of Kansas City, KS.

A celebration of Joanie Burnham’s life was held at St. Paul’s Church in Vero Beach, FL on Saturday, January 15.

A summer memorial will be held on Fishers Island, NY at  St. John’s Episcopal Church at 10:00 am Saturday, July 16, followed by a graveside burial, and an 11:30 Reception at FIYC – all are welcome.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Habitat for Humanity of Indian River Country online or by mail to Habitat for Humanity, Vero Beach chapter 4580, US-1N, Vero Beach, FL 32967.

Published in Treasure Coast
Posted online on January 03, 2022

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