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Beverly "Bebe" Burke


03/14/1925 - 03/07/2015 Obituary
Beverly "Bebe" Burke Obituary
Beverly F. "Bebe" Burke passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday March 7th, surrounded by family and close friends. She was 89.
The 4th generation of a local pioneer family, Bebe was a patriotic member of the "Greatest Generation" and a bright shining light to all who knew her. Born in Bakersfield to Harry and Vyvian Rinker in 1925, she moved with her parents to Honolulu at the age of one. Most likely her athleticism began as she learned how to walk aboard ship during the seven-day passage. Bebe was very close to her family and adored her parents and older brother Harry. They returned to the mainland in 1932, living in Carmel and San Jose before settling again in Bakersfield.
Bebe attended Emerson Junior High, Kern County Union High School and Bakersfield College. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1947 and received her teaching credential the following year. She taught first grade students in Oakland and Jefferson Elementary in Bakersfield before marrying her high school sweetheart, Jim Burke, who would later become a successful Ford dealer.
Bebe and Jim were married for fifty-six years and were inseparable until his death in 2006. They had one daughter, Michele "Mikie", and loved entertaining friends at their homes in Bakersfield and Carpinteria, CA. Bebe was an avid golfer, scoring three holes-in-one, as well as an accomplished gardener and bridge player. One of her many talents was the ability to recite any poem or song from memory. She was especially fond of Robert Louis Stevenson and her favorite was always "
The Lamplighter
". Her daughter, four grandchildren, and more recently her two great- grandchildren, were the love of her life.
Throughout her lifetime Bebe's compassion and giving nature made a difference in the Bakersfield community. She was an active member of the Junior League of Bakersfield, Town and County Garden Club, and Blue Ribbon Circle. She served on the Foundation Board of the Kern High School District, Ready to Start, Youth Connection, and Stars - Bakersfield Music Theatre. Her true passion was benefiting youth and for many years she spent every Wednesday morning at Franklin Elementary school reading to students as part of the Community Reading Project.
Bebe's spirit of love and kindness will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Her warm smile and joyful heart, charm, wisdom and positive attitude created friends for a lifetime. Her legacy will continue through them.
Preceded in death by her parents and brother, Bebe is survived by her daughter Michele "Mikie" Hay and husband Dan; grandchildren Joe Hay and wife Sofie, John Hay and wife Beth, George Hay and fiancee Stephanie; and Kristen Hay Ford and husband Stewart; two great- grandchildren Hunter and Parker Hay; niece Kathy Crettol; nephews Bob and Craig Rinker; and family friend Jane Cassady.
The family would like to thank caregivers Ira Ali, Christine Gonzales, and Susan Corkrum for their kind and faithful service along with the staff from Around the Clock Care - Maria Hernandez, Maria Nunez, and Lisa Spillers. Sara Stephens and Alicia Sakai with Medical Advocacy and Planning, as well as Dr. Tommy Lee provided Bebe with excellent medical care and advice for which the family is most appreciative. Special thanks to Hoffmann Hospice staff Candice Banducci and nurses Lori Macias and Ana Reyna who helped Bebe transition to a new life with dignity and grace.
Bebe was always a teacher at heart and passionate about children. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Jim Burke Education Foundation, P.O. Box 2686, Bakersfield CA 93303.
Services will be held at 2:30pm on Friday March 20, 2015 at St. Francis Church on H Street. Monsignor Craig Harrison will officiate. A reception to celebrate a life well lived will follow.
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Mar. 13 to Mar. 15, 2015
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