Joyce Ann Burkel

November 12, 1946May 1, 2013

Joyce Ann Burkel, 66, of Dexter, found peaceful rest Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

She was born to the late Roy and Virginia Blumke, November 12, 1946. Joyce graduated from Dominican High School in 1964. She married her soulmate Leo Burkel in 1968, and they lived together in Detroit, MI., and Sterling Heights, MI., before relocating to Dexter in 1991.

Joyce was a "Dominican Girl," and as such her sense of etiquette and pride was deeply instilled. Joyce was fond of sending greeting cards for all appropriate occasions. Joyce possessed an innate gift of communication. Writing, grammar and editorial tasks came as easily to her as breathing.

Joyce was a devout woman who knew this world is filled with suffering. She met this challenge with strength and conviction. Joyce reversed the effects of suffering imposed on the innocent by giving generously of herself and her time to those in need. All her life, Joyce used whatever was available to her (and Lee made sure PLENTY was available to her) to ease the suffering of animals. Joyce adored her pet cats and considered them members of her family. Joyce was personally responsible for the preservation of many animals' lives and was fond of the Friends of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Foundation.

Within her lifetime, Joyce was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Mary's Catholic Church and TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly). She revered Mary, the Virgin Mother, and her devotion never wavered throughout her life time. Joyce, often accompanied by her friends, displayed her faith on a daily basis by performing Adoration, participating in daily mass and morning prayer groups, and by volunteering her time to those in spiritual need.

There was another side to Joyce's quiet devotion. She was, in face, a resplendent woman. This beauty emanated from the spunk, courage, resolution and strength of her spirit. She liked fast cars and drove a Triumph Spitfire, vintage Jaguars and Camaros. She traveled extensively throughout these United States, always together with the love of her life, Lee. Their shared love of history took them to the battlefields of Gettysburg, Johnstown, PA., and the gravesite of Red Cloud. She loved to laugh and her intelligence often manifested in clever, surprising jokes and responses to her family and those around her. Joyce was joyful and her spirit and humor triumphed over the darkness so often found in this world.

Joyce will live on through and always watch over: Her five children: Lt Col Laurel "Buff" Burkel, USAF, of Montgomery, AL; James (Sharee) Burkel, of Chelsea; Melissa Burkel, of Chelsea; Virginia Burkel, of Ann Arbor; and Maria Burkel, of Waterford. Her granddaughter, Rowan Burkel, of Chelsea. Her brother, Ron Blumke, of Lexington. Her best friend, Theresa Rutkowski, of Dexter. Her beloved husband of 45 years, Leo Burkel, of Dexter.

Thank you Mom, for everything. "I'll show you how it's done, you'll smile through the pain."

Visitation will be on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at Hosmer Muehlig Funeral Chapel, 3410 Broad Street, Dexter, MI. 48130 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. She will lay in state at St. Joseph Village Church, 3430 Broad Street in Dexter on Monday, May 6, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Joseph Village Church on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 11 a.m. immediately followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery.

A funeral luncheon will be held to celebrate Joyce's life at St. Joseph Village Church after burial.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Joyce Burkel's name to: The Friends of Wildlife: or the St. Francis Mission among the Lakota:


  • Visitation Sunday, May 5, 2013
  • Visitation Monday, May 6, 2013
  • Funeral Service Monday, May 6, 2013

Joyce Ann Burkel

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Loren Burkel

February 18, 2014

Family of Civil War veteran and emigrant Johan Burkel from Minnesota and Wisconsin sends condolences on your loss of this remarkable woman. We would like to swap family tree information to see what connection we might have to the painter Heinrich Burkel. A cousin Dr. William Burkel wrote anatomy textbooks at Ann Arbor.

Deb Carter

August 1, 2013

I will miss you my dear friend

August 1, 2013

Joyce you were one of my best friends and employee I could not have ask for a better friend lov u see you again someday

June 18, 2013

Laura Coleman

May 10, 2013

Virginia, Maria, Jim, Melissa and Maria, I am so sorry to hear of the your mom. I have some very fond memories of your mom and loved her like my own. I miss you guys!!

Donna Fehrle

May 6, 2013

All my love to Lee and the kids. I really appreciate all that Joyce did for my mom, she really was her best friend also a true daughter to Theresa. With Gods blessings we will see Joyce in a better place among friends, family and animals. Until then, Hail Mary full of grace please find us a parking space. Much love, Donna

Ric Merrell

May 5, 2013

Lee, I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. No words can describe how difficult it is to lose such a wounderful person such as Joyce. Her memory will continue to live on through you and all her children and grand children and those who knew her. May God bless you all. It seems so long ago that the last time all of us were together was at the late IUOE 547,100th anniversary partyin 1996. So long ago. Truly, from my heart, love and sympathy and GOD's strength and comfort to all of you.

Sue Furda

May 5, 2013

My prayers and tears are with you all. Joyce was such a good friend, and I will miss her greatly. Her humor and wit kept me laughing, while her deep spirituality and love of our faith made praying with her all the more meaningful...and how she loved all of you...those were the best stories of all!
Peace and grace to you always,
Sue Furda

Jill Thomas

May 4, 2013

To Uncle Lee and all my cousins,
I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember how Aunt Joyce helped me through the difficulty of losing my own mother with loving kindness. Joyce was a great comfort to me. She was such a funny, loving person and she will be fondly remembered and missed always.


May 4, 2013

Sorry for your loss . May our Heavenly Father provide strength and comfort to the family during this time of grief. For he is near to those broken at heart. Ps 34:17,18