Thomas L. "Tom" Burke, 65, Daytona Beach, retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, died Saturday, April 1, 2006. Family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. today (Wednesday, April 5), at Lohman Ormond Funeral Home. Service will be 10 a.m. Thursday, April 6, at the funeral home. Col. Burke grew up in Plainfield, N.J., and enlisted in the Air Force in 1960. In the early part of his career, he was assigned to the Far East, serving as a Chinese linguist in Korea in 1962, in intelligence in Vietnam in 1966 and Thailand in 1974. While stationed in Omaha, Neb., in 1968, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska, and was commissioned an Air Force second lieutenant. During an assignment in 1978 at Florida's Eglin AFB he earned his master's degree from Troy State University. He completed Squadron Officer's School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College. From 1980 to 1983, he served on the Air Staff for the Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence in the Pentagon. In 1984 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and served as the Director of Intelligence at Space Division, Los Angeles, Calif. His final military assignment was at the Fourth Allied Tactical Air Force in NATO, in Heidelberg, Germany, from 1985 to 1987. During his military career, Col. Burke was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. He served his country in the Air Force for 27 years and retired in October 1987. After retirement, Col. Burke began a second career in safety and human resources in Daytona Beach. He was employed in these fields at Halifax Medical Center, Stetson University, Martin Paving Construction and Aluma Shield Industries. He was an active member of Volusia Manufacturers Association and Volusia-Flagler Safety Council. He was predecesed by his son, Steven Mark Burke. He is survived by his wife, of 29 years, Darlene, Daytona Beach; two sons, Thomas Burke, Vienna, Va., and William Burke, Sterling, Va.; daughter, Jennifer Burke-Vento, DeLand; two stepdaughters, Michelle Schultz and Jodi Raborne, Forest City, N.C.; brother, Michael Burke, Kissimmee; and seven grandchildren. Burial will be with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, send remembrances to Hospice Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129. Share condolences with the family online at www.lohmanfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements are by Lohman Funeral Home Ormond.
Published by Daytona Beach News-Journal from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2006.