Jodi (Martin) Burcham of Coupeville, WA passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 21.
Jodi was born in Waco, Texas to John and Jessica (Mitchell) Martin. She was their only child and light of their world. From an early age it was obvious the she had a gift for music and her parents nurtured that gift with voice, piano and dance lessons.
Her family lived in several Texas towns during her childhood and by her high school years had settled in La Porte, Texas. Upon graduating from La Porte High School Jodi attended North Texas State College (NTSC) in Denton, TX on vocal music scholarship. She was a standout student at NTSC. The mezzo-soprano sang in many concerts and operas with the NTSC Chorus, Grand Choir, and Acapella Groups. She was a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Summer Symphony and was voted a 1955 Yucca Beauty for the NTSC yearbook. In 1955 she earned her degree in vocal performance and music education. Upon graduating Jodi had several options for continuing her professional singing career including making her operatic debut in Italy, singing for the New York Metropolitan Opera or entering a postgrad program at Juilliard. However, while an undergrad she met fellow co-ed Roy Burcham of Fort Worth,Texas and they fell in love.
On November 20, 1955 the couple married in La Porte,TX. Roy was an officer and pilot candidate for the United States Air Force and the couple moved to Arizona for flight school. The next 25 years involved many moves around the world, teaching high school choir at Papillion High school in Papillion NE and the birth of two daughters,- Dondi (1960) and Darci (1970). No matter where the family was stationed, Jodi quickly involved herself in the community. She sang in the church choir and, more often than not, ended up as the choir director. Her Southern charm drew people to her and she quickly established friendships. She taught piano and voice lessons, volunteered in the community and created a sense of home for her family.
In 1978 while stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base the family bought a home in nearby Medical Lake. Jodi began giving piano and voice lessons from her home studio and was so popular she had to turn students away because there weren’t enough hours in the day. In 1984 she became the music teacher at Medical Lake Elementary where she elevated the music program with wonderful concerts and end-of-the-year musicals.
In 1994 on a trip to Whidbey Island she fell in love with Coupeville and a New England Saltbox house for sale. She purchased the house and became a permanent resident in 1997. Jodi joined Coupeville United Methodist Church (CUMC) and became the Bell Choir director and ultimately the Choir Director. She spent 17 years as the Choir Director at CUMC. She immersed herself in her new community by joining PEO, volunteering for the Hospital Guild, becoming a docent at the Island County Historical Museum and a member/officer of the United Methodist Women’s group. She also was the founder of the Choralaires (a group that sang all over Whidbey Island in Victorian dress).
In addition to her community interests Jodi loved to garden, read and be Nana to her two granddaughters, Madeline and Alexia. She loved the saying “ Life’s Short. Eat dessert first” and could always be counted on to have a homemade goodie or two in the kitchen.
Jodi is survived by her daughters Dondi (Burcham) Byrne and Darci (Burcham) Dellinger and two grand daughters Madeline (Dellinger) Braukmann and Alexia Dellinger.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 18th at 2:00 at Coupeville United Methodist Church, Coupeville, WA.
Donations can be made to WAIF or the Coupeville Food Bank in Jodi’s name.