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Lenore Rae "Judy" Burke

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Lenore Rae "Judy" Burke Obituary
Burke, Lenore Rae "Judy" Age 79, passed away peacefully on June 9th, 2018, in Seminole, FL. She was predeceased by her husband, Bill (2010), and is survived by her sister Cheryl (Spiewak) Bergquist, her brother Joseph Spiewak, step-daughter Karen (Edward) Lester, nephews Brian (Lisa) Walker, James (Debbie) Walker, and Joel (Emily) Walker, and several great nieces and nephews. A graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, MI, she was known for her creativity, energy and determination from an early age, opening a dance studio in Centerline, MI, at the age of 15. Judy was years ahead of her time with regard to women's roles in the business arena. She was a gifted and talented entrepreneur at a time when women were not given the oportunities to be leaders in business or industry. Known to many of her former dance students as "Miss Judy", she was the founder and creator of "Recreation Dance", later known asR/D, Incorporated, an extremely successful dance program that ran from 1955 through 1998, a program that encompassed several thousand students and an extensive list of teachers. During those 43 years, she became involved in "Dance Caravan", a national touring dance training seminar attended by thousands of dance students and their instructors, rising to be a member of their Board of Directors. "Miss Judy" was a teacher, tutor, friend and mentor to her students. She was a self-disciplined instructor and leader with a quick sense of homor and an incredibly sharp mind. She led by example and motivated many to successfully fulfill their goals and dreams, maintaining friendships with some of her former students lasting 60 years or more. Her encouragement led to the development of other dance studios by some of her former teaching staff. She later expanded her enterprise to include dancewear sales and costume design and production when she established R/D Dance Wear (Sterling Heights, MI). She faced no obstacles she couldn't conquer and saw the transition of her ideas and visions into successful endeavors. Judy and Bill joined Forest Lake Country Club (Bloomfield Hills, MI) in 1974, where they established strong and lasting friendships with many through golf, bridge and other social events. She later joined The Pegotty Bridge Club and The Friendly Bridge Club (both in Troy, MI) and the St. Petersburg Bridge Club (FL), embracing a passion for the speed and intellect required to be a talented and successful player and partner-and she truly was excellent at both! Mrs. Burke was a lover of animals and most especially cherished her own Maltese dogs (TuTu, Peanut and Peanut II). She will be remembered for her determination, spirit, passion and generosity, gifts which will remain in our hearts and memories. At her request, no memorial services are to be held, wishing instead for a private ceremony in Florida.
Published in The Macomb Daily on July 15, 2018
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