SUTTONS BAY — Theta Burke, 82, died at her home Friday, July 10, as the sun greeted the day and welcomed her "home". Before she moved to northwest Lower Michigan, Theta preferred sunsets to sunrises. Each morning though, as she sat at her kitchen table with pen, paper and a cup of black coffee looking out at her "sea", she soon came to appreciate the beauty of a sunrise.
Born in Bumpus Mills, Tenn., on Dec. 15, 1926, Theta was the 12th child of Lucy (Woodson) and Harvey Burke's 13 children. Theta never lost the love for a slower, simpler pace of life.
She earned a master's in Social Work from Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tenn. Theta moved to Ann Arbor soon afterwards.
She worked as the Department Head of Social Work at Hawthorn Center in Northville, Mich. Upon retirement, Theta embarked on a writing career, succinctly translating the spectrum of life experiences for those struggling to express what we feel and want to share. Delafield Press published several books and a perpetual calendar. Many of her works have yet to be published.
To say, "Theta Burke will be missed" is a given. Theta Burke will be remembered and live on through a passel of descendants, friends and her writings.
No Child of her own
To mourn her at all
Still a mother too many
A friend to us all
Small of stature
Barely could stand
But always there
With a helping hand
When the way became dark
The path gone away
She was there with
a smile and a laugh
and a kind word to say
With her words and her smile
She touched us all
She'll live in our hearts
Like she's ten feet tall
God bless you, Theta
Burial will take place this autumn at a private service in Bumpus Mills, Tenn.
Memorial contributions may be directed in Theta's name to Shriners Hospitals for children - St. Louis; 1 (813) 281-0300 or online at [email protected]
The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
This obituary was originally published in the Record-Eagle.