Patrick J. Burke died last Sunday in Statesboro, Georgia, after battling ALS for several years. He spent his final days and hours surrounded by his three children and his beloved stepdaughter, Lea. He was 69 years old. He was born in Detroit, Mich., in 1945, the only son of William P. and Mary Eddy Burke. Patrick was one of five children and was raised in Rochester, Mich., with his four sisters, all of whom survive, Mary (Arthur) Carlson of Rochester Hills, Mich., Susan B. Little of Greenville, S.C., Martha (Jack) Ramirez of Seattle, Wash., and Penelope Macomber of Rochester, Mich.
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Patrick graduated from Rochester High School in 1963. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in animal husbandry from Michigan State University in 1967. While at MSU, he met Kathleen Loughney on a blind date. They were married in 1968.
Patrick was drafted into the U.S. Army and served from 1968-1970. He served one year in Vietnam, which led to one of his favorite phrases, ""I had more fun in Vietnam!"" He was honorably discharged as a sergeant and was awarded the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
After serving his country, Patrick returned to MSU to earn his Master's of Business Administration in 1971. He and Kathie welcomed their first child, Erin, that same year. Patrick began a 20-year career with his father running the family's automotive fittings manufacturing business, WP Burke Company, in downtown Rochester. Within a few years, his second child, Shannon, was born in 1973, followed by William in 1975.
Later, he and Kathie moved to Tybee Island, Ga., and he became a real estate agent, broker and owner of Tybee Island Realty. He later married Glenda R. Burke, who preceded him in death on November 6, 2012. He changed careers a third time when he went to work as a meat inspector for the Georgia Department of Agriculture for 10 years, utilizing his degree in animal husbandry. He and Glenda moved to Millen and he then retired to Statesboro. Patrick and Glenda spent their retirement years enjoying many cruises.
Patrick is remembered with love by his first wife, Kathleen Burke Fabrikant; his three children, Erin (Cosmo) Mendez of Dexter, Mich., Shannon (Elton) Todd of Toccoa, Ga., and William (Rachael) Burke of Jacksonville, Fla.; three stepchildren, Lea Nunn of Statesboro, Ga., Richard (Kathy) Nunn of Garden City, Ga., and Shannon (MaryAlice) Nunn of Pembroke, Ga.
He also leaves seven grandchildren, Mary Mendez, Grace Mendez, Preston Todd, Madison Todd, Will Burke, Griffin Burke and Owen Burke; and eight step-grandchildren, Candice Jenkins, Kalie Purcell, Connor Purcell, Aaron (Dana) Dudley, Carson Nunn, Matthew Nunn, Ansley (Dan) Brennan and Ashley Nunn. And four step-great-grandchildren, Mallory Dudley, Morgan Dudley, Coleson Brennan and Levi Jenkins. He also leaves several cousins and many loving nieces and nephews.
Patrick's family wishes to express a special thank you to Kimberly Foskey of the Ogeechee Area Hospice for her extraordinary care of Patrick over the past year, and to Pastors Cary and Janet Swanson for helping to meet Patrick's spiritual needs with their home visits as well as Chaplin Nick at Ogeechee Area Hospice.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service and celebration of Patrick's life will be held at the Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro, Ga., on Friday, May 16, at 11 a.m. A private interment will follow in Bulloch Memorial Gardens.
Per Patrick's wishes, in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Ogeechee Area Hospice, 200 Donehoo Street, Statesboro, GA 30458.
Statesboro Herald, May 15, 2014
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Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home
502 Miller Street Ext. Statesboro, GA 30458
Published in Statesboro Herald from May 5 to May 22, 2014