Katie Burkard Gaston
On July 21, 2015, we unexpectedly lost our mother, sister, aunt, and friend. Katie Burkard Gaston, a Santa Barbara native, died suddenly at her home in North Carolina. Born to Ben and Annabel Burkard at Saint Francis Hospital on March 4, 1952, Katie was the youngest of six siblings who grew up in the San Roque neighborhood. She attended San Roque Catholic School and graduated from San Marcos High School in 1970. She married Ken Gaston in 1985 and they joyfully raised their two children, Andrew and Leah, on the Westside of Santa Barbara.
Katie could always be found at Monroe Elementary School where her children attended. She volunteered for everything! Often in the background, she offered tireless support wherever she was needed. Andrew and Leah followed in their mother’s footsteps, both graduating from San Marcos High School. Katie continued to volunteer for the marching band in which Andrew played the trumpet.
Katie will be remembered as a radiant presence by the customers and coworkers of the Safeway/Vons store at Chapala and Victoria where she worked for over 30 years. She always had a smile and went out of her way to help anyone in need. It would not be unusual for Katie to bring groceries for neighbors who were unable to shop for themselves. She never forgot a birthday and she could always find the perfect gift for any occasion. She was a dear friend to many and those who received Katie’s compassionate generosity received a gift indeed.
Above all else, Katie loved her children and her family. They will treasure many memories of Katie’s loyalty and kindness. She will be missed beyond measure.
Katie was preceded in death by her parents, Ben and Annabel and her beloved brother, Richard Burkard. She is survived by her son, Andrew (Wilmington, NC), her daughter, Leah Dallas (Santa Barbara) and her former husband, Ken Gaston. She is also survived by her sisters, Patricia Burkard, Martha Briare (Vince), and Dorothy Olivera, her brother, Michael Burkard (Paula), and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at San Roque Catholic Church on Monday the 10th of August at 1:00 pm. A celebration of Katie’s life will be held at Steven’s Park following the service.