Edward Joseph James Burke
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On October 10, 2013, Ed passed away at home after a long illness. He was the husband of Millie Gordon Fay Burke. Ed was born September 5, 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lived in an area called West Oak Lane. The son of Dr. Edward James Burke, the head forensic chemist for the City of Philadelphia, for many years, and Rosella Sheridan Burke, he is survived by two sisters, Patricia Fine and Virginia Vahey, and predeceased by brother Joseph Burke and sister Claire Henault. Ed attended St. Athanasius Elementary, St. Joachim and Northeast Catholic High School. He earned a B.A. from Villanova College and as a member of the NROTC, graduated in 1953, as a 2 LT in the Marine Corps.
While still in school, Ed spent many Friday nights attending the dances held in various Catholic Churches. He was a good dancer! Ed served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1965, rising to the rank of Captain. Over the years, he was stationed in Pensacola, FL, Camp Pendleton, CA, Kobe, Japan, Kenehoe Bay, HI, Clarksville, TN, Quantico, VA and Camp Lejuene, NC. Ed excelled in rifle and pistol marksmanship and won many awards. He was qualified in Summary and Special Courts Martial, cryptographic procedures, communications, amphibious training command and Atomic, Biologic and Chemical Warfare. His cruises to the "Med" took him to Spain, Turkey, Italy, France and the Greek Islands. Closer to home, he had duty in Panama, Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay. Off duty, he would likely have been playing Bridge or Chess (at which he excelled). After an Honorable Discharge, he and his first wife, Elizabeth Ann Diggens (now deceased) settled in the Woodbridge, VA area. They had four children-Julia Ann Bibbee, Edward J. Burke, Jr., Kevin Taylor Burke and Elizabeth Sheridan Frey.
In total, they have given him 7 grandchildren-Jonathan and Christopher Bibbee, Laura Brennon, E.J. and Adam Burke, Katy Pipkin and Robert Frey, plus 10 great grandchildren. Ryan, Kyle, Jack and Aiden Bibbee. Gwen, Nate and Lillian Brennon, Joshua, Mary Hannah and Whit Frey.
Ed was a Computer Systems Programmer and held positions with Top Secret Clearance at Naval Ocean Surveillance, Control Data, McDonnell Douglas, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Ft. Belvoir Army Engineering. He and Millie met on the beach in Ocean City, NJ, in 1950. They dated for over a year and then went separate ways. After 30 years they reconnected and married in 1985.
Millie brought four children and 7 grandchildren into the mix. Dr. Bruce G. Fay with Asa and Sasha, Lisa M. Sellers (Jeffery) with Victoria, Shannon and WES, Sgt. Robert H. Fay (Rebecca) with Mary Rose and Jacob, and Eileen J. Hayes (Andrew).
After retiring in 1991, Ed moved to Wilmington in the Northminster community. He became active in the elections where he last served as an Inspector. He joined the Bridge Studio of Delaware at Foulkstone Plaza.
Many thanks to Heartland Hospice for their help. Services will be private.
Brandywine Valley Funeral Care
412 Philadelphia Pike Wilmington, DE 19809
Published in The News Journal on Oct. 16, 2013