who served as publicist for the Ambassador Hotel and co-founded Round Table West, died of natural causes Oct. 6 at the age of 93. She was interred on Friday and a private memorial was held Sunday at Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Burk, who lived locally most of her life, formed Round Table West with business partner Marylin Hudson, which included writers such as Maya Angelou, Walter Cronkite, Ray Bradbury, Jane Russell and Gloria Steinem.
Burk wrote Are the Stars Out Tonight? The Story of the World Famous Ambassador and Cocoanut Grove, copy of which Bob Hope hand-delivered to President Reagan. She also co-authored with Gary Hudson, a guide to celebrity grave sites called Final Curtain: Eternal Resting Places of Hundreds of Stars, Celebrities, Moguls, Misers & Misfits.
Local costumer and Ambassador Hotel historian offered Patch some personal memories:
“I was one of the many people who were lucky enough to call Margaret Burk my friend. Margaret decided early on that she was going to have a happy life; and then set about with that goal in mind.
I used to listen to her stories of growing up in Chicago, singing as a teenager with the Ted Weems Orchestra, then of living in Los Angeles during the years of the second World War.
She first came to Los Angeles in the early 1940s, and headed straight to The Cocoanut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel. She had heard the world famous radio broadcasts, and wanted to see the glamour in person.
She became an Angelino, happily married her husband and raised her loving children here.
Her life has been filled with singular accomplishments. Some of her favorites were: First woman president of the Wilshire Chamber of Commerce, world's first woman member voted in to Lion's International, White House invitation for consideration of Treasurer of the United States during the Richard Nixon administration and much more.
My favorite memories of her involve the special sparkle she had in her eye, her crooked grin, and her enormous sense of fun. We wished that we had met each other years ago, when we could have come up with some real hijinx together.
She met every day with a smile, loved her family enormously, and always had several books near by. I miss her so already, and will always remember her with love and gratitude.”
Burk is survived by children Marie and Harry Burk III and six grandchildren: Alicia Garcia, Andres Garcia, James Burk, Jeff Burk, Trevor Burk and Brittany Burk. She was predeceased by husband, Harry J. Burk Jr.; daughter, Linda Burk Garcia; and son, James W. Burk.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Studio City Patch was privileged to conduct the last interview with Margaret when she was honored last month. Burk also attended a Patch party with Inman. See the photos offered by Inman in the photo gallery above.)