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Richard Burke


1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Richard Burke Obituary
Richard Francis Burke

1935-2016 Richard Francis Burke, age 80 of Greenwich Street, died Tuesday evening March 15, 2016 at Berkshire Medical Center. Richard was the son of the late Stanley and Beatrice Shepard Burke, born in Pittsfield on his mother's birthday, October 11, 1935. He was educated in Hinsdale and Pittsfield schools, and then served in the United States Army during the Korean War. Mr. Burke was employed by Crane & Company in Dalton as an electrician for 44 years, retiring in 1997. He then volunteered as a driver to bring Vets to the VA in Northampton and Albany. He was a member of the Globe Unity Masonic Lodge of Dalton, the Dalton American Legion and the Dalton VFW. Mr. Burke is survived by his daughter Lori Burke Lanigan and her husband Thomas of Framingham MA, and his three sons James Burke and his wife Shenna, Jeffrey Burke and his wife Erin, and Joseph Burke and his wife Jolene, all of Pittsfield. Loved by his sister Jean Arnold of Largo FL and her late husband John, his sister Patricia Lampro George and her husband Ray of Pittsfield and his brother Wayne Burke of Huntington, MA and his late wife Patsy. He leaves his cherished grandchildren Claire, Zachary, Samantha, Justin, Hannah, Alexis, Jack, Oliver, Stanley and Madeline. He also leaves his former wife, Barbara Cultrera Burke and several dear nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Billie Burke Hunt and her husband Bob of Largo, FL. At age 14, Richard was the original artist who painted the image of Mickey Mouse on the railroad underpass on Old Dalton Road in Hinsdale, around the corner from his childhood home. This inspired neighbor Allee Freshler to paint many more wonderful characters that brought local fame to the well-known Mickey Mouse bridge, enjoyed by so many for years. In his younger years, he enjoyed skiing, playing softball in the Crane men's league, league bowling at Ken's Bowl, roller skating, picking berries and sharing vegetables from his bountiful garden. He was proud of his Polish heritage, enjoyed polka dancing, polka music and a large plate of Polish food. A longtime member of the Bas Ridge Golf Course in Hinsdale, he was an avid golfer and was proud to have been a caddy for LPGA golfer Babe Zaharias in a tournament at Wahconah Country Club. He also enjoyed playing cards in the pitch league at the Dalton VFW. He loved nature and would always share the simplest pleasures in a warm and wonderful way. A friend to so many, everyone knew Richard for his charm and his sense of humor. He has been known for many pranks, especially on the golf course with famous gems including sanding tees flat, leaving a half golf ball on the fairway, nailing a ball to a tree, or hiding in the woods with a fishing line attached to a ball on the green, all to befuddle fellow golfers. Most indubitably, he will be missed by all. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to all of those who lovingly cared and supported both Richard and the family in recent years. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral Services for Richard F. Burke who died March 15 will be held Sunday March 20th at 3 p.m. officiated by Rev. Charles F. Young Chaplain of Hospicecare in the Berkshires at DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford Street, Pittsfield. Calling hours will precede the service from 12 Noon to 3pm. Burial will take place in the spring with his parents in the Maple Street Cemetery in Hinsdale. In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Richard's memory can be made to Soldier On, in care of the funeral home.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Mar. 18, 2016
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