George Burke Jr. SALISBURY - George Leonard Burke, Jr., 97, of 120 Shady Lane in Milford Hills, died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005, at Rowan Regional Medical Center. Born Nov. 11, 1908, in Evington, Va., Mr. Burke was the son of the late George Leonard Burke and Lois Hudson Burke of Spencer. He was a member of Central Methodist Church for many years, and later, a charter member of Milford Hills United Methodist Church. After graduating from Spencer High School and North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering, now North Carolina State University, he entered the labor world at the onset of the Great Depression, where employment was conspicuous by its absence. Among his first short jobs was one with Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation on a job in and around Pottstown, Pa., where he became acquainted with a hard coal miner 's life. This period was followed by a tour of duty as a second lieutenant colonel. He was a life-long member of The Military Officers Association of America and a charter member of the Carolina chapter. After Army duty through World War II, he entered Duke University School of Law, where he earned two degrees, Bachelor of Law and a Master of Laws. He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1948 and practiced law with his brother in Roxboro for four years, whereupon he made the decision to return to Rowan County and make it his home for the remainder of his life. His greatest moment of personal satisfaction in his years of the practice of law was an oral commendation from the North Carolina Supreme Court expressing the court 's approval of the excellence of his appellate brief in that certain case of "Rabon vs. Hospital" in which case the Court abolished the "Rule of Charitable Immunity" in North Carolina. After returning to Rowan County, he found the presence of Catawba College too great an opportunity for further study to resist and enrolled, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. He may be the oldest student to ever graduate from Catawba and certainly one of the proudest. He followed this with a second L.L.B. degree from LaSalle Extension University. He is survived by his wife of many years, Beatrice Ward Burke, and daughter Pamela Burke of the home. Service : A Service of Death and Resurrection will be held at Milford Hills United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday with the Rev. David Hockett officiating. Entombment will be at Rowan Memorial Mausoleum. Visitation : Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. Saturday in the church fellowship hall. Memorials : Memorials may be made to Milford Hills United Methodist Church, 1630 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury, NC 28144. Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Burke family.
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Published in Salisbury Post on December 23, 2005