Johnnie Burke

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Johnnie Burke Sr.

ST. PAULS — Johnnie Howard Burke Sr., 79, formerly of St. Pauls, passed away peacefully at his home in Summerville, S.C., on Sept. 26, 2013.

The funeral will be 3 p.m. today at Great Marsh Baptist Church, the Rev. Mike Kinlaw and Don Goforth officiating. Burial will follow in Gardens of Faith cemetery in Lumberton. The Big Marsh Fire Department will serve as pall bearers.

He was born Aug. 14, 1934, in Robeson County, the son of the late Edgar and Ila Stanley Burke.

Howard began one of many careers with Burlington Mills in St. Pauls. In the early 1950's he and his father owned and operated Burke's Service Station and Grocery until 1976. He then worked for Thurston Motor Lines for 13 years as a dispatcher and driver. Later he was employed with Liberty Life Insurance Agency. Howard lived and loved life. He was a loving father and granddaddy, dedicated to his family, church and community. He was a volunteer fireman and a founding member of Big Marsh Fire Department in 1969. He served as a council member for the Town of St. Pauls for 8 years, from 1995-2003. Howard was a faithful member and former Deacon at Great Marsh Baptist Church. His last purpose was based on the teaching of 1 Timothy 1:15: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of who I am chief". Howard never hesitated and was proud to acknowledge God's mercy and forgiveness shown to him during his life.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Sylvia Elaine Townsend Burke.

He is survived by two daughters, Betty Burke Beckham (Donnie) of Summerville, S.C., and Wanda Burke Seigfreid (Chris) of Linden, Va.; a son, Johnnie Howard Burke, Jr. (Renee) of St. Pauls; his brother, Billy Burke (Barbara) of Wagram; his grandchildren, Steven Beckham of Charleston, S.C., Amy Beckham of Summerville, S.C., Miguel Ortiz (Kayla) of Manassas, VAa., and Asia Burke Sickelbaugh (Jim) of St. Pauls; his great-grandchildren, McKenzie Sickelbaugh and James Howard Ortiz; a brother-in-law, Robert Townsend of St. Pauls; and seven nieces; and a nephew.

The visitation was held on Sept. 28, 2013, at McNeill Mackie Funeral Home of St. Pauls.

Memorials may be made to Big Marsh Fire Department, P.O. Box 86, St. Pauls, N.C., 28384, or Intrepid Hospice, Charleston, S.C.

Online condolences may be made to

Our family would like to give special thanks to Judy, Samantha, Hanna, Ms. Ivory, Megan and Pastor Ann for the special care they provided for our father. We want our Great Marsh Baptist Church Family to know how much we appreciate their love, cards and trips to South Carolina for our Dad. We thank and love you all.

Arrangements by McNeill Mackie Funeral Home of St. Pauls.

Funeral Home
McNeill Funeral Home
309 West Broad Street
St. Pauls, NC 28384
(910) 865-4105
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Published in The Robesonian from Sept. 28 to Sept. 29, 2013
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