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185 Ridge Rd.
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William J. Burke

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William J. Burke Obituary
William J. Burke

AGE: 85 • Spring Lake

William J. Burke, 85, retired Lieutenant Colonel, Deputy Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, died Saturday, March 1, 2014, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Originally from Harrison, he resided in North Arlington for many years before moving to Spring Lake. He proudly served his country with honor and distinction from 1948-1951 as a member of the United States Army during the Korean Conflict with the 65th Engineer Combat Battalion. During his 32-year law enforcement career beginning in 1952, he served at stations in North and Central Jersey including the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. In 1960, he was assigned to the Fatal Accident Unit at Division Headquarters in West Trenton and later served as Supervisor of the unit. In 1969, he was selected to lead the newly formed State Police Helicopter Bureau. He was one of the original fourteen troopers trained as commercial helicopter pilots. He advanced to the rank of Lieutenant in 1970 and continued as supervisor of the Helicopter Bureau until 1976. In 1977, he was named Troop D Commander on the New Jersey Turnpike where he remained until 1980 when he was then named Troop B Commander in North Jersey. In 1980, he returned to Division Headquarters and was assigned as Acting Supervisor of the Field Operations Section. In 1981, he was promoted to Major and named to the staff position of the Field Operations Office. In July 1982, he was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and named Deputy Superintendent. Lieutenant Colonel Burke acted as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent, supervising all staff functions. He also served as Secretary/Treasurer of the State and Provincial Division of the International Associations of Chiefs of Police. Throughout his law enforcement career, he completed supervisory, management training, and helicopter flight training programs at California State College, Rutgers University, and Northwestern University.

Following his retirement in 1984 at the age of 55, he began his second career and served nearly 20 years as Director of Toll Collection for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. He was a board member of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. He retired in 2003, concluding 52 years of service in State Government.

He was a member of Shillelagh Club of Belmar, Former New Jersey State Troopers Association, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Law Enforcement Aviation Association, and the Society of Investigators of Greater Newark. He was also an active member of Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington serving on Parish and School Committees and a member of the Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus Council 3428.

To his family, he was a man of strength, faith and devotion. His values and his character will remain with them through future generations. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Josephine (nee Andronaco); his children, Maureen, William Jr., Robert and his wife Caroline, Carolyn Martinez (wife of the late David J. Martinez), Suzanne Bradley and her husband Mickey; his sister, Patricia Frazer; and six grandchildren, David and Jacqueline Martinez, Christina and Robert Burke, and Shaylyn and Kaitlyn Bradley.

The funeral will be from the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Road, North Arlington with visitation hours Wednesday March 5th, from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday March 6th, at the funeral home, followed by the Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington. Entombment will follow in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the New Jersey State Police Memorial Association, PO Box 1683, Bellmawr, NJ 08031.

Published in Asbury Park Press from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2014
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