Joanne "Burkee" Burkett

Most of the Tales found in this section were written by Joanne Burkett from research taken from Paolo Sioli's History of El Dorado County California, from El Dorado Co. birth, marriage, death and land records and often from interviews.  She was very supportive of this Web site and made many contributions.  She passed away on October 20 2009. The following biography was submitted by her children.

Joanne Burkett


Joanne Ruby Burkett was born January 16, 1940, in Sacramento, California. She died from cancer with her family by her side on October 20, 2009 at her home in Roseville, California. Joanne grew up mainly in Sacramento, but also lived part of her childhood in Rio Vista.

Throughout her life, Joanne had a love of music, art, reading and writing. In her young adult years, she painted with acrylics, oils and watercolors. Joanne was a founding member of the Florin League of Fine Arts in the early 1970s. Joanne opened an art shop in historic Folsom in the late 1970s where she offered her paintings for sale and even offered painting classes. Through her art shop, Joanne made several friendships with other artists that have endured the test of time.

Joanne went to work for the Roseville Press Tribune in 1981 and spent the next 22 years there, first as a typesetter, then later as a graphic designer and editor. It was during these years that Joanne earned her nickname, “Burkee” and made many lasting friendships. During her first year as the graphic artist, Joanne hand-designed ads until the company purchased computers the following year. In addition to her regular duties at the newspaper, Joanne also wrote an entertainment column for a number of years.

She and husband Jim attended all the plays, movies and concerts in the area and had a terrific time, rekindling their love which had begun so many years ago. Their marriage remained strong and supportive, until Jim’s passing in February, 2000.

Over the last ten years, Joanne became an “Altered Art” fanatic and was quite talented and respected in the Altered Art circle. She made trading cards, chunky books, dimensional art objects and more. Joanne belonged to several Altered Art groups and also taught classes at the Stamp Art Shoppe in Roseville.

Also in her later years, Joanne developed an interest in genealogy and became an avid researcher of her own ancestry as well as her husband’s family ancestry. During her research, Joanne made contact with distant relatives across the country, who were also tracing the family lines and together they teamed up to fill in details of their history, sharing photos and records. Joanne wrote a number of stories of family events she recalled and hoped to put them all together as a family keepsake.

Through her writing, art and genealogy interests, Joanne kept her mind active. She had a number of blogs and spent countless hours posting her art, family stories and findings from her genealogy research. Joanne was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, James Burkett, her brother, John Lamothe, Jr., her mother, Jewel Lamothe, and her step-father, John Lamothe. Joanne was the loving mother of four daughters: Karen Burkett (David) of Loomis, Kathy Ratermann (Mark) of Granite Bay, Paula Buchanan (Chris) and Cheryl Texeira (Dave), both of Gardnerville, NV. Joanne adored her grandchildren, Taylor, Connor and Jack.

She also leaves behind her beloved pet dog who bears her namesake, “Burkee.”

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