KOSCIUSKO — Many longtime Warsaw residents were saddened to learn of the recent passing of Patricia Lynn Burkey.
She is well remembered for her 27-year career as aquatics director of the Kosciusko Community YMCA, retiring in 2001.
Burkey imparted her love of swimming by teaching hundreds of Warsaw children how to swim. She was recognized by her colleagues as a leading stroke coach, and built a staff of aquatic instructors at the Y that shared her passion for aquatics and emulated her outstanding instructional technique. She challenged her swimmers to “keep at it!” and believe in themselves.
She was a pioneer as a female head swim team coach, establishing an award-winning swim team for the Y. Burkey had a keen eye for potential talent and encouraged many youngsters to join the team, teaching them a skill that continues to serve those swimmers as adults even today.
Many of her former students wanted to honor her memory. The Pat Burkey Memorial Banner will be the first banner to ever be placed in the natatorium of the Parkview Warsaw YMCA. Her pioneering spirit lives on, even in her legacy.
Contributions toward the banner can be made online at www.kcymca.org, or mailed to the KC YMCA, 1305 Mariners Drive, Warsaw, IN 46582. All contributions in her memory will be designated for the aquatics program.