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BURKE, CRAIG TIMOTHY September 21, 1948 to February 4, 2013 Craig Timothy Burke, a lifelong California State Park Ranger (retired), and an avid supporter of the outdoors, passed away in Ramona, California on February 4, 2013, at the age of 64, of cancer. He is survived by his partner of 11 years Kathie Taylor of Ramona; sons Ryan Burke of Monterey and Andrew Burke of Mountain View; brother A. Thomas Burke, Jr. and wife Debbie of Kalispell; mother Dolores Siegel and her husband Jack of Point Loma. Craig was born September 21, 1948 in La Jolla, California. He grew up in Point Loma, where he surfed and travelled the coast before he attended UCLA, where he graduated with a degree in Political Science in 1971. Soon after graduating, Craig became a California State Park Ranger, and took posts at such locations as Huntington Beach, Angel Island and Calaveras Big Trees State Parks. Craig truly loved the outdoors, and enjoyed many hiking and backpacking excursions into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. As a ranger, he excelled in marksmanship, and so was invited to compete at the National Police Championships, where he brought home the 1st Place trophy for California in 1981. He also shared his creative side through years of guitar-playing and performing for family and friends. As a WWII enthusiast, he created dozens of hand-crafted model WWII concept aircraft, and was an active member of the International Plastic Modeler's Society (IPMS). He also proudly designed and built a WWII-inspired board game entitled, "Victory Through Seapower". Craig routinely played golf and men's volleyball into his 50s, where he used his ambidexterity to confuse and out-finesse the opposing players. After more than 30 years as a ranger, Craig retired in 2003 and soon moved back to San Diego county, where he sought out and became a substitute teacher and continued his love of travel. He and Kathie were able to fulfill a dream of visiting all 7 continents. He counted 56 countries visited. Craig died at home, with family. Arrangements have been made with Bonham Brothers Mortuary, where he was cremated after death in Ramona. He wished there to be no services. But if you'd like to go on a hike, sing a song, or think up a new pun, Craig would surely approve.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Feb. 12, 2013
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