Joy Margaret Burkhart

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Memorial Service: Monday, January 17, 2022, 10 AM at Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel

Joy Margaret Burkhart, age 79, passed on to the Lord Jesus Christ January 11, 2022 after a long battle with dementia.  Joy was born in Lynn, MA in 1942 to Arnold Charles Briere and Irma Phyllis Briere, as was her younger sister, Susan.  The family moved to Pecos in her early years where her father practiced general surgery and Joy surrounded herself with pets of various types, including her favorite Palomino horse – Princess.  Joy attended TCU and graduated with a major in dance, with honors.  While at TCU, she was an active member of the Kappa Delta sorority and remained a committed KD throughout life.  Joy was perhaps best known as one of the preeminent dance instructors in the state of Texas and was the owner of Joy’s School of Dance for 35 years, having taught thousands of children and adults the art of dance.  She also pioneered the dance program at Baylor University in the mid-1990s where she guided the program for several years.

Joy is survived by her husband of 57 years, Alan (Cotton) Burkhart; son, Chuck (Betsy); daughter, Allison (Hulon), and four grandchildren, Will Burkhart, Ben Burkhart, Chandler Joy Webb, and Trey Webb.

A fiercely loyal person, Joy was blessed with a loving and supportive family, along with countless friends and students, all of whom will miss her greatly and for whom she modeled a relentless work ethic, attention to detail and honesty.

Place of Service: Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel , 5201 Steinbeck Bend; Waco, TX 76708

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Condolence Messages

  1. I’m saddened to hear the news of Joys passing. She was like a family member to Julie ( Harvey) and me. I considered her a perfectionist in her teaching of dance and credit her with JulIes dance success all the way through adulthood. I got to know her so well working part time in the studio. We shared so many great conversations and laughs. Traveling with her and Julie to the Gus Giordino studio is a forever JOYful memory. Thoughts and prayers for Cotton and family.

  2. Joy was a tremendous influence on my daughters as they learned not only dance, but a hard work ethic through dance and performance. She taught the little ones their first ballet steps that led to many other instructors and studios, but Joy’s School of Dance was the first. Joy was always kind to accommodate parents in her studio and we enjoyed those sweet sweet memories. So thankful to Natalie Todd George for continuing this sweet legacy for young girls, and boys, in Waco. May God bless her family during this time. Thank you Joy!

  3. To Cotton land family – I’m so sorry for your loss- a very sweet lady – your old buddy.
    Randy Greer

  4. Miss Joy was part of the KD alumnae group that helped our chapter to colonize at Baylor. She was always so kind, generous and supportive. I was blessed to take classes with her and also to work with her at her studio for a portion of my time in college. She was so fun to be around, and those classes were a great workout!

    I’ll treasure the fond memories with her and am sending prayers for her husband, family and friends.

  5. Patty & Mike Stark

    May you find comfort in fond memories.

  6. Shirley Tidmore

    We will all miss the physical presence of our beloved Joy, yet how we celebrate her dancing in the streets of Heaven!
    She has been far more than a ‘dance instructor’ to so many.
    As she guided my girls in the art of dance, she instilled in them a work ethic like no other! ‘Miss Joy’ helped them to develop the confidence and ‘get it right’ attitude that has carried them from barely toddlers to accomplished students, women, wives and mothers, of which they now instill the same values in their own children. She directed and guided each of her students with ‘expectation’ of nothing less than the best…all the while lovingly nurturing and supporting each through ‘less than perfect’ times.
    As a ‘dance mom’, how blessed I have been to have the presence of this amazing woman in my own life…as a mentor, as a true friend.
    Joy has impacted the lives of all that have known her in ways that will continue for generations to come.
    Cotton, Chuck, Ali…we are immensely grateful to you for sharing ‘your treasure’ with us all!

  7. Allison, Chuck, and Dr Burkhart- I am sending many hugs, much love and prayers to each of you. Joy had always been such a special light in the world- such a blessing to her family and friends! Her name was so befitting since I considered her to be such a “joyful” person and I loved taking dance under her wonderful instruction. You have all gained a wonderful loving angel to watch over you!

  8. Aundrea Nicole Stevens

    I was so sad to hear the news of Mrs. Joy’s passing. She taught me dance all throughout my childhood and teen years. I am so blessed I was able to meet and learn from this amazing woman. I have some of the greatest memories from dance classes, recitals, and traveling to dance conventions. I love you Mrs. Joy, may you R.I.P! My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Burkhart and family.

  9. My condolence to the Burkhardt family. Ms Joy was an inspiration to all the young little girls in the Waco, Hewitt and surrounding area for Joy’s School of Dance. Joy Burkhardt was a very sweet lady with a kind heart she will be truly missed. R.I.P.

  10. I am so sorry to hear of Joy’s passing.
    I loved having my daughter Allison train under her. She instilled so much in her that I probably never could have done myself. All of us have heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child “. Well Lovely Lady, you were my village.
    I will forever remember our travels to the girls competitions,classes,etc.
    I will also remember getting ready for the Nutcracker, Recitals,etc.
    Oh my all the glitter! Lol!
    Thank you for the best years of our life.
    Anna Ihle

  11. Joy made me a Dance Dad, nurturing a lifelong love of dance in my two daughters. She also introduced and reinforced dance skills to thousands of Baylor students in her dance classes. She is loved and missed.

  12. Cotton: Marty and I want to nd our condolences as we hard about Joy’s passing. We havv ben your next door neighbors for sometime now nd only wish we had gotten to know her better . If there is any thing w can do to hlp just lt us know. John nd Marty Bailor

  13. Eddie and Kay Robertson

    Joy was truly a blessing from God. Her smile and personality would light up a room. She tried years ago to teach Eddie and I how to waltz for our son’s wedding. Well at least she tried. We always remember when Eddie would be doing work on their home and how caring both were. Joy will be missed by all who know her as she was a very special person. Praying for Cotton and family during this time. We loved her and you too. God bless you.

  14. Chelsea Swanson Sumrow

    There is no way to describe in words the impact Joy has had on my life. She took me in as a young Baylor student who had a love for dance and teaching, but no money, no family, and ultimately no place to live after my freshman year. God used her to minister to me in one of the hardest times in my life. Because of her and Cotton, I graduated from Baylor because they gave me a place to live and 2 wonderful jobs to help get me through. I never saw my job at the studio as work – it was a gift. Thank you, Joy, for the love you gave to me and to others so freely. Cotton, I love you like a father and am coming to see you soon. My prayers are with you, Chuck and Ali during this time.

  15. Joy introduced me (alongside Ruby Olar) to partner dancing while a student at Baylor University in 2005. Her words of encouragement to me at finals were the springboard to a life full of dancing from then on. Condolences to the family and thankful for her many years of giving joy to others through dance.

  16. We were so sad to hear of Joy’s passing. Our daughter never danced under her instruction, but she has benefitted greatly from the legacy she has left with JSOD. Our daughter visited the nursing home along with her dance class several times to dance for the residents there as well as to honor Ms. Joy. We loved seeing the smile on her face as she watched these tiny dancers. May she rest in peace knowing that she has made a great impact that reaches far beyond what she could ever imagine.

  17. Jennifer Bass San Miguel

    I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to see her again, but I like to think that she knew how grateful I am for her and how much she impacted my life. I now own my own dance studio in Houston and her legacy carries on there as well. It is no coincidence that on this day I reached a milestone of 100 students enrolled.
    Purpose, Beauty, and passion was Joy. I will always have fond memories and lessons that I still recall, all of her students will. Cotton, I am so sorry for your loss and hope that you are surrounded by love. You both are something to aspire to and I’m so thankful for you both.

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