Margaret (Peggy) Huiskamp Burdick, died suddenly at home of natural causes on Thursday, Oct. 21. Peggy was born on June 25, 1933 in Madison, Wisconsin, the third daughter of Benjamin W. Huiskamp and Dorothy Norton Huiskamp.
The family was comfortable even during the Depression, and had a mother’s helper and a hired man in a large house situated on Lake Mendota. The idyllic life changed abruptly when her mother developed acute leukemia and quickly passed. Her grandmother and great-aunt moved into the house to care for the children. The difficulties of this period contributed to finely developed emotional antennae and a concern for the well-being of all those in her orbit. Her father remarried and Peggy became part of a close and active household of six children.
Peggy attended Lakewood Grade School, University of Wisconsin High School, Harvard/Radcliffe College (BA) and the University of Wisconsin Madison (MA/Ed). In eighth grade, she was voted “Best All-Around Student,” an honor she cherished into old age. In 1955 she married her high school sweetheart, Claude Burdick, then a first-year medical student. She taught second and third grade for three years in Madison, which she adored.
Claude entered the U.S. Army and the family lived on the Presidio in San Francisco from 1958 through 1963 during his pathology training. During this time, Katherine, Roberta and Lawrence were born. The family moved to Seijo Machi near Tokyo in 1963, then to nearby Camp Zama and eventually to El Paso in 1967, where son Jack was born. During this period Peggy was a mother and active in Army church activities. She directed the summer Bible school and the Brownie Scouts at Camp Zama in Japan. The family lived a year in Lee, Massachusetts, and then moved permanently to Livermore, where her husband worked at Valley Memorial Hospital and Peggy raised four children. She was again active in musical and church activities. She chaired the successful campaign to purchase a 2,000-pipe organ for First Presbyterian Church of Livermore, led the church’s Stephen ministry program for nearly two decades, was den mother to the Cub Scouts, was FPCL church bookkeeper for years, and was a 50-year member of the Livermore Amador Symphony Guild. Many remember Peggy’s warm hospitality, whether for duplicate bridge, family holidays or neighborhood events.
Peggy is survived by Claude, her husband of 66 years, children Katherine (Eric) Wilson of Berkeley, Roberta (Thomas) See of Pleasanton, Lawrence (Kellie) of Livermore; sisters Janet Hansche of Albuquerque New Mexico, Susan (Brad) Wyman of Dummer , New Hampshire,; sister-in-law Mary Ellen Millar of Cross Plains Wisconsin; grandchildren Sara (Baris) Basturk of Antalya, Turkey, Charles See of New York City, Daniel See of San Francisco, Ian Wilson of Berkeley; and great-granddaughter Sophia Basturk of Antalya.
She was pre-deceased by her parents, her son Jack, her sister Dorothy Lucretia Hess and stepbrothers David and Malcom Millar. Peggy was a true extrovert, a great lady beloved by all. She remained an optimist even as she became an invalid. She expected to recover to her dying day.
A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Livermore at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, followed by a reception. A viewing will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 at the Callaghan Mortuary, 3833 East Ave. in Livermore.