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Robert Glen Burke

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Robert Glen Burke Obituary
Robert Glen Burke

Robert Glen Burke, FAICP, 78, urban planner, architect, historic preservationist who established Kirkland's Heritage Hall, passed away on May 20 at his home in Kirkland, WA.

Bob was born and raised in the farming communities of Idaho Falls, ID. He graduated from the University of Washington (UW) in Architecture and started working as an architect for Naramore, Bain, Brady and Johanson (NBBJ). He spent two years in the US Army as a Chaplain's Assistant during the Korean War. After finishing a Master's degree in Urban Planning while working for the Port of Seattle, he went to work for the cities of Richmond, VA and St. Louis, MO. Bob returned to Seattle and re-joined NBBJ as the Director of Planning. He spent the last 17 years of his career as President of McConnell/Burke, Inc.

Bob was a nationally-known urban planner who significantly impacted many communities in the US. He served on the Board of Directors for the American Planning Association representing 16 western states, and served as President of two Washington planning associations (APA, PAW). He was recognized with an Individual Achievement Award from these organizations for his lifetime accomplishments, was inducted into the first class of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP) and received the Governor's Advisory Council Chairman Award for his work in historic preservation in Kirkland. He served as chairman and member on the Kirkland Planning Commission.

He loved his community of Kirkland and worked tirelessly for its historic preservation, generating people-friendly spaces and fostering a sense of place. Notably, Bob orchestrated the $250,000 funding, restoration and move of the historic 1922 building currently known as Heritage Hall to its present location at the base of Heritage Park. Heritage Hall also houses the Kirkland Heritage Society where Bob served both as President and Board Member. If you enjoy the Captain Anderson Ferry Clock, historic plaques around town and the historic street names on Kirkland street signs, know that Bob had a hand in this.

He was a great friend, a loving, non-judgmental father, and patient and kind grandfather. He remodeled several of his homes, including moving his 1910 craftsman bungalow and renovating it while maintaining its architectural integrity. He helped design kitchen and basement remodels for his kids, built jungle gyms and tree houses for his kids and grandkids. He was known for being fair, dispensing M&Ms and gummy bears, and having a soft side for his two cats, Sha and King.

Bob is survived by his soul mate of some twenty years, Barbara Loomis, his four children and 12 grandchildren. He died far too soon and we miss him dearly.

Donations can be made to the Kirkland Heritage Society in memory of Robert G. Burke to help fund the landmark nomination process of historic structures in the City of Kirkland.

There will be a public "Celebration

of Life" event at Heritage Hall starting at 5 pm on July 6, 2013.
Published in The Seattle Times from June 15 to June 16, 2013
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