Martha Peck Burgess


Martha (Mardy) Kenyon Burgess, née Peck, age 86 of Annapolis, Md., died peacefully at home on Thursday, May 10, 2018, surrounded by family and loved ones.

Mardy was born May 24, 1931, to George Francis Peck and Edith Gertrude Peck in Scranton, Pa. The Peck family started summering at Martha’s Vineyard in 1911 in East Chop when Mardy’s mother, Edith (Trudy) was a girl. Trudy Peck then brought her husband and daughters, Janice, Mardy, and Virginia (Dinny) every summer.

Mardy enjoyed spending time at the Vineyard with her family and many summer friends at the East Chop Beach Club and East Chop Tennis Club. At the East Chop Tennis Club, she met the late Newton Albert (Al) Burgess Jr., who also grew up summering at East Chop with his family. Mardy and Al married in 1953. From that union she was blessed with her beloved children, Cindy and Ken. The Al Burgess family loved Martha’s Vineyard, and still enjoy wonderful memories of many summer visits to East Chop.

She was deeply touched by the Island’s exquisite beauty. She always described the Vineyard as her “spirit home — immersion in the sea, beach, and sky.” Of the many things she loved, her greatest joy was swimming in the waters off East Chop in the early morning light.

She was a lifelong writer, and wrote many poems and feature stories, some of which were published in the Vineyard Gazette. She deeply admired and corresponded with the Gazette editor, Henry Beetle Hough, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet with him in the Gazette office.

Dr. Burgess received her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in education from the Union Institute in 1993, and B.A. from Middlebury College in 1952.

She authored the textbook “Life Changes and So Do I: The Journey of Life From Single Primordial Cell to the Human Brain.” She used her work to teach workshops in public and private schools at the elementary and middle-school level.

In 1976 she met Albert Brown, the love of her life. Initially, they resided in Bethesda, Md., and then moved to Baywoods of Annapolis. They shared many interests and traveled extensively throughout their lives together.

She used her passions for the environment, conflict resolution, science, and spirituality to make the world a better place. She was a dynamic member of Annapolis Friends Meeting, and an active member of her Baywoods community. She supported many philanthropic causes, especially to preserve the environment.

Mardy is survived by her devoted life partner Albert Brown, sister Virginia (Dinny), daughter Cynthia Cosbey (Steve); son Kenneth Burgess, stepsons Geoffrey Brown (Patria) and Michael Brown, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Mardy’s memorial service will be celebrated on Saturday, June 16, from 1 pm to 4 pm, at the

Annapolis Friends Meeting House, 351 Dubois Rd., Annapolis, MD 21401.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in her name to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at, or to the American Friends Service Committee at, or to a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be made online at