Gertrude E. "Trudy" Burke, 88, passed away June 23, 2011, at Elsie's Assisted Living in Belgrade. She was born Dec. 6, 1922, in Laurel to Joseph J. and Cora E. (Bray) Gilles.
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Trudy was a graduate of Montana State University-Billings. She was an elementary school teacher, and later a secretary for Pays Auction in Billings.
She married Edward Burke, and as a pastor's wife she performed a multitude of activities, both in California where they resided and then in Bozeman.
Trudy was very active in Grand Avenue Christian Church where she served as an elder, often "filling the pulpit" in the absence of the minister and sharing special moments with the children. She taught in Sunday School and was music director, helping to produce many fine Christmas programs.
She was also very active in the Disciple Women's fellowship group, serving as secretary and treasurer. She was a stickler for details, keeping accurate minutes and financial statements. She was also a member of the Country Home Extension Homemakers, and the Retired Teacher's Association.
Trudy especially enjoyed music. She sang in the church choir, and in the local TAMS (Teachers and Mothers singing group). She played the autoharp regularly at local rest homes and for many community groups. She amazed everyone with her recitation of poems and stories. She was also very creative with crafts, and liked to cook, always sharing goodies with others.
Trudy had a great sense of humor. She always had a big smile for everyone and was very positive in all situations. She was truly an inspiration to all.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers and her husband.
Trudy is survived by nephews, Gordon Gilles of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Jere Gilles of Columbia, Mo., Keith Gilles of Fort Thomas, Ky., Kere Gilles of Billings, and Tere Gilles of Billings; niece, Debbie Price of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; and grandson, Steven Ruzich of Portland, Ore.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 28, 2011