Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Burkhardt enjoyed wildlife, quiet of town


Ann Burkhardt

A memorial service for Ann Burkhardt, 78, was held Saturday at Chapel-by-the Lake in Juneau.

Burkhardt died Oct. 10 at a Petersburg extended care facility. She had congestive heart failure and dementia. She previously lived at Haines Assisted Living.

Burkhardt and her late husband, Walter, retired to Haines 21 years ago. Ann volunteered at the Sheldon Museum and served on the board. Fellow volunteer Joan Snyder said, “Ann was a nice, good-hearted, hardworking Alaskan woman.”

She had five children, a dozen grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren and took regular trips to see family in Juneau and the Lower 48. “She was a very loving mother and real people person,” said daughter Charla Aurdal.

Burkhardt worked as a secretary for various state agencies and government offices, including former Gov. Jay Hammond and state Sen. Betty Fahrenkamp. She also worked for a Juneau law firm and was a member of the Eastern Star.

Burkhardt’s grandson, Shane (Harnden) Walker, lived in Haines with the Burkhardts during his high school years and Ann enjoyed watching his cross-country practices, often waving from her Small Tracts Road garden when the team ran by. Son Ralph lived with Ann and Walter in their later years and owns a store here.

Burkhardt attended the Salvation Army sewing circle, and enjoyed small town life and especially driving on quiet roads. “She loved her house, and she loved driving everybody to go see the (Chilkoot) bears. Bears were really her passion,” her daughter said.

Burkhardt was born Jan. 15, 1934 in Juneau to Ralph and Treva Reischl. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a bear-hunting guide who trapped live animals for zoos.

She graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School and was traveling Outside when she met Walter Burkhardt, who was working at McChord Air Force Base in Washington as a civilian mechanic. “When he asked her to marry him, he mailed the ring to her in Juneau,” her daughter said. They were married in Juneau in 1953.

Walter Burkhardt and brothers Keith and David Reischl preceded Ann in death; she is survived by five children, Ralph of Haines, Charla Audral of Snohomish, Wash., Charles, Walter, and LuAnn Walker of Juneau, 12 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Juneau Masonic Center Building Fund, P.O. Box 32558, Juneau, AK 99803, or your favorite charity.