Kitty Elaine Burke Wilkin
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Kitty Elaine Burke Wilkin

Long Neck, DE - After a brave and courageous battle with an unforgiving disease known as ALS, Kitty Elaine Burke Wilkin, of Long Neck, Delaware, formally York, Pennsylvania, went to be with her Lord and Savior on June 21, 2020 at the age of 68 years old. Kitty is survived by her husband and caregiver, John Wilkin of 33 years and her loving daughter Kari Lin Violet Wilkin.

She is also survived by two brothers, Russ Burke and his wife, Cheryl, and Shane Burke and his wife Karen. Also surviving her, a brother-in-law Frank D. Wilkin Jr. and his wife Susie, and a sister-in-law, Nancy N. Allen; two nieces, Jennifer L. (Rehmeyer) Wargo and her husband Curtis Wargo, Chelsea (Burke) Smith and her husband Michael Smith; two nephews, Kane Burke, Grant Burke and his wife Angela; two great-nieces, Findlay M. Wargo and Fiona L. Wargo; three great-nephews, Hayden Smith, Carson Smith, and Reilly Burke.

Kitty was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania, on July 30th, 1951 and raised in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of the late Patricia R. (Wallace) and Luther Burke.

Kitty was a long-time resident of York County, having graduated from Red Lion High School in 1969. She then continued her education and graduated from the Maryland Medical Secretary School in 1971. Kitty worked at Ragland & Associates for the next 17 years. She then was employed by Dr. Letocha, Dr. Brein, and Dr. Bilder at Ophthalmology Associates of York as an Ophthalmic Technician where she retired in 2015, after 26 years of dedicated service and moved to Long Neck, Delaware with her husband John.

In her spare time, Kitty was always volunteering or lending a hand in some sort of way. She co-chaired food runs for the homeless in downtown York for 15 years, where she was able to serve over 9,000 people. She was an influential member at Mt. Pisgah Trinity United Methodist Church and always enjoyed spending time there. It was like her second home. Every year you could find her at the church's Vacation Bible School, leading the craft areas with all the children.

Kitty enjoyed so many things in life, especially her family and many loving friends. She was strong in her faith, and always said that God was looking out for her. After Kitty got married, she wanted to start a family. After two miscarriages and infertility therapy, she thought there was little to no hope of having a child. But then they decided to adopt a little girl from China, and her name is Kari Lin, her pride and joy. For years Kitty followed her dream of taking care of Kari & John, hosting friends & family for picnics and get togethers at their farmhouse on Schmuck Road, cooking and swapping recipes with friends (her carrot cake was one of a kind and such a treat), and tending to her beautiful garden and various plants. She had quite a 'green thumb' and was an excellent seamstress as well. And through it all, Kitty had the most beautiful voice and you could always hear her singing or humming a song.

Kitty's friends and family would all agree that her smile was contagious and unforgettable. It was certainly something that defined her beautifully. She was a terrific friend to all and truly an angel. She showered everyone with endless amounts of kindness, love, and compassion. She also knew how to have a good time, plenty of laughs and stories to live on years from now.

It wasn't until 2015 that she found out she had the genetic makeup to pass on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) to any biological child that she could have had, and looking back, she felt strongly that her inability to have children was God watching over her making sure she couldn't pass on the horrible disease. Adopting Kari Lin was a blessing and relief in many ways. Her ALS started with the loss of her speech (Bulbar Onset ALS) but she was still able to physically get around on her own for three more years. At the same time, Kitty's mother, Patricia R. (Wallace) Rittenhouse was starting her journey with Pancreatic Cancer. God gave Kitty another year to drive back and forth, with her ALS not deteriorating, from Delaware to Pennsylvania to be able to spend cherished last days of her mother's life with her. These are only two of the profound ways that her Savior has protected her. But there are of course many more.

Join us on July 11th, 2020 at Mt. Pisgah Trinity United Methodist Church (5615 Mt. Pisgah Road, York PA, 17406) to celebrate the wonderful life of Kitty Elaine Burke Wilkin. The service will begin at 1:00 p.m. There will be no refreshments afterwards due to COVID-19 restrictions and the church requests that all attendees wear masks due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Just a reminder, York, PA is now in the 'green phase' therefore allowing church gatherings up to 250 people.

Memorial Contributions can be sent to the ALS Association in memory of Kitty's Kat Walkers, her team for the yearly ALS Walk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware or East Gate Church in Long Neck, Delaware 19966. Condolences may be sent online at

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. I'm following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call; I turned away and left it all. Don't lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your hearts and share with me, God wanted me now, HE SET ME FREE

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in York Daily Record from Jun. 25 to Jun. 28, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
July 5, 2020
Such a beautiful obituary written for Kitty. I was unfortunate to have never met her but feel I know how her last years were since I lost a loved one to the same horrible disease. So very sorry Kittys family and Kitty had to get that awful disease and witness how it takes someones life away from them. So sorry for your loss . Someday I hope they find a cure so nobody else has to go through it. Rest In Peace Kitty
July 1, 2020
My sister-in-law, aka sister, was the sweetest and kindest person.
She was one in a million.
I smile when I think of all the wonderful times we had together and with family. The horrific battle with ALS is over and now you are rejoicing in heaven.
I will miss you always. I love you forever.
Your sister,
Nancy Allen
June 30, 2020
Many great memories I will always cherish of Kitty when we were kids, neighbors, classmates. Beautiful person with a beautiful smile and heart. Thoughts and prayers to Shane, Russ and families.
Mary McMillion
June 28, 2020
Shane, Russ and families,

Im sorry to hear of Kittys passing. May your memories bring you comfort and the peace of God surround you

Kitty L (Burke) Heidlebaugh
June 27, 2020
Condolences to the Burke and Wilkin families. May God bless and comfort all who knew and loved Kitty. We will remember her as a gracious, kind and precious soul. Surely Kitty left this world a better place for having lived and moved among us. May she rest in peace eternally.
Sherwood Shoff
June 27, 2020
I knew Kitty when we were young and she was one of the most wonderful people I ever knew. Kitty always had a beautiful smile and a caring way which made all of us love her. She was a wonderful friend who I'll never forget. Kitty and your family are in my thoughts a prayers.
Ben Blouse
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