Bernard Burke LathamBernard Bernie Burke, 80, passed away suddenly Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at Albany Medical Center surrounded by his loving family and friends. Born in Schenectady, he is the son of the late Charles and Margaret (Schliff) Burke. Bernie proudly served our country as a cryptologist in The United States Navy during The Korean War and Cold War Conflict. After serving, Bernie earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, and later a master's degree from The College of St. Rose. Bernie was employed by the South Colonie Central School District as an industrial arts teacher at Lisha Kill and Sand Creek Middle School for 30 years before retiring in 1991. Bernie enjoyed golf, darts, poker, horseracing, games of chance, and was a master of crossword puzzles. He was also a longtime member of the Rotterdam Elks, the Naval Cryptologist Veterans Association, The Michigan State University Alumni Association, and a founding member of the M.E.O.T.A.S.H. Poker Club. Bernie will be remembered by those who loved him for his contagious smile, woodworking skills, and strict adherence to his 4 o'clock happy hour. Bernie was predeceased by his brothers, Charles (Dorothy) Burke, Robert (Helen) Burke, and Richard (Betty) Burke. Bernie is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Elisa Betty Burke; his children, Daniel (Mary Pat) Burke, M.D. and Linda (Vincent) Boughton. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Lauren Burke, Jon Boughton, and Abby Boughton; his sister, Joan (Lew) Moore; sister-in-law, Concetta (Robert) LaViolette; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Memorial contributions may be made in Bernie's name to The Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Bernie's family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the entire staff of the emergency room at Albany Medical Center for the extraordinary care and compassion shown to Bernie and the entire family. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Bernie on Saturday, February 15th at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Church, 498 Watervliet Shaker Rd. Memorial calling hours will be held at the church, prior to Mass from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Interment will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Schenectady. To leave a special message for the family online please visit NewcomerAlbany.com.
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Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Feb. 13, 2014
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