Realizing a Dream and Honoring Two Lives

I’ve had the good fortune of being selected as a member of the 2013 class of Leadership Louisville and wanted to share some of my experiences on the kix blog.

We talk about our region being a place where imaginations and individuals thrive — A place with great entrepreneurial spirit. Well, thanks to Leadership Louisville and my classmate, Dr. Pat Murphy (of the Murphy Pain Center), I met a particular entrepreneur whose story is both tragic and inspiring.

At one of our first meetings this year, we spent the day exploring the neighborhoods of Louisville. And those neighborhoods include Southern Indiana, which is the region my group selected to explore.

We began the tour on New Albany’s “mansion row”, which is quite impressive, and then visited Indiana University Southeast, followed by lunch at “Ann’s on the River” in Jeffersonville. After that we dropped by the future site of the East End Bridge. These were all great stops, but the destination I’ll remember most was a brand new bakery on Eastern Boulevard in Clarksville.

Marlyce  and Dr. MurphyThat bakery is called “Marlyce’s Place”, and we got to meet Marlyce. Her cupcakes are divine, but she’s not just about selling fabulous baked goods, she’s sharing her heartfelt story with everyone who pays her a visit. And what an inspiration, the bakery has been a long time dream of hers and her son, Jon.

At age 24, Jon tragically lost his life to an overdose of the prescription pain medication, Opana. And just a few months later, Marlyce buried her daughter, Autumn, 28, also a victim of drug addiction. Where others might have given up on life, Marlyce found the strength to start a new chapter in hers. On August 18th she opened the bakery.

Marlyce says in addition to selling sweets and treats, she wants to honor the memory of her children, and maybe help others while doing so, by sharing information about the growing problem of addiction to prescription painkillers.

Marlyce believes in what she’s doing — So much so that she gave up her well paying job at the VA hospital to pursue this dream.

During our visit, Marlyce reflected on what good kids Jon and Autumn were. She said that Jon was an Eagle Scout. “I just don’t want my children to be forgotten. They matter and I will tell everyone.”

So she told our group and I wanted to be sure to tell all of you. And we left “Marlyce’s Place” that day with several dozen of the best cupcakes you can imagine.

Beth Avey is the Executive Director of Kix


  1. When I met Marlyce for the first time I was a bit concerned that she would be taken back by the fact that I was a pain specialist who prescribed Opana from time to time. Instead, Marlyce gave me a hug (and a cupcake!) and told me she wants people to get the care they need, whether it be pain care or addiction treatment. To be able to say that after what her family has been through is so inspirational. We all have to pull together to help one another and it starts by open honest communication… and trust. Thanks Marlyce, for your courage and strength (…and cupcakes). Thank you Beth for telling her story.

    • Dear Beth & Dr. Murphy, WOW!! I certainly didn’t expect all of this, but I thank God for both of you. The work that you both do, is and will continue to help and change lives. There are people in need of pain medication and I so appreciate the care and treatment that Dr. Murphy gives. He has even designed a program to help patients realize their potential risk of addiction. Because of the walk that I have walked I will continue to tell my story and reach out to those that struggle with addiction. It is truly a way of healing the pain that I have in my heart due to the loss of my children John Robert Burkardt Jr, and Autumn Joy Burkardt. May the Lord Bless You both and keep you.

  2. What an incredible story! I want to meet Marlyce! Thanks for sharing this story. As a primary care physician very concerned about both the horrible scourge of addiction and its affect on families as well as the importance of adequate treatment of pain in my patients: I am deeply moved by this story.

    • Dear Trac,y, I would be honored!! You can stop by Marlyce’s Place, or just give me a call, 502-551-5557 or 812-725-8010, Blessing’s Ms. Marlyce

  3. thanks

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