Joyce Elaine "JJ" Burlingame

January 03, 1946 — September 17, 2023

Service Details

Joyce Elaine Burlingame, “JJ”, 77, of West Des Moines, passed away peacefully on September 17, 2023 after a short stay in hospice care. She was born January 3, 1946 in Fort Worth, Texas to Joyce and Thomas Burleson.

Joyce married the love of her life, Tom Burlingame in 1966 at Elgin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She devoted her life to her family and was very proud of the life she and Tom built together.

Joyce was a caretaker to her core, offering fulltime support to many family members with illnesses over the years. She also possessed an unmatched gift to play, interact, and teach children. This resulted in amazing childhood years for her kids and grandkids and ultimately instilled imagination and kindness in all of them. Joyce never missed an opportunity to give a “life lesson” and truly wanted nothing but happiness for those she loved.

She is survived by her son, Jason (Teri) Burlingame of Naperville, Illinois; her daughter, Kristen Giudicessi; brother, Bill Burleson of Taos, New Mexico; and six loving grandkids, Isabella, Noah, Sophia, Ben, Emily and Cameron. She was very proud of all their accomplishments.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Tom, who died 26 days prior. She mentioned in her final days that life would “not have been as much fun without him.” She was also preceded in death by her mother and father; and her brother, Thomas Greer Burleson.

Memorials may be directed to Taylor House or a hospice of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed at