William J. Burke, 67
West Boylston - William J. Burke, 67, of West Boylston passed away Wednesday, December 23rd.
He leaves his wife of 39 years, Anne Carey (Hurley) Burke; a daughter, Kelsey Burke of Paxton and her fiancee, Michael Kusy of West Boylston. Bill is survived by seven siblings: Kathryn Green of Rockland, Richard Burke and his wife, Debbie of Peru, Mary Burke of Marlborough, Theodore Burke and his wife, Patricia, of Walpole, Margaret Burke and her wife, Patricia Connolly of Centerville, Elizabeth LeBlanc and her husband, Nelson of Waltham, and John Burke of Centerville, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Bill was born in Newton the son, of William J. Burke and Mary E. (Clancy) Burke. He was a graduate of Boston State College and Wentworth Institute. He received his Master's degree from Kennedy Western University. Bill was a Navy Veteran of the Vietnam War, serving on the USS Willis A. Lee and USS Shenandoah.
Bill worked at the confluence of science, technology and national defense. First as a quality control engineer for the US Navy, then AVCO, Raytheon and Lincoln Labs. He retired as a systems engineer for the US Air Force at Hanscom Air Force Base in 2013.
Bill had a love of Irish music, and was a talented guitar and banjo player, and had a beautiful singing voice. With his friend and bandmate, Paul Kelly, Bill played and sang throughout many Irish clubs and restaurants in the Boston area. Bill was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Disabled American Veterans, the Harold Keith American Legion Post, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Bill loved to garden, loved watching all Boston sports teams, enjoyed a walk on the links, and a cold one after that. Bill also loved to cook (and his wife, Carey, was happy to let him!). In his earlier years, Bill was an avid runner competing in road races throughout the state.
Bill was a devout man of great faith, and he regularly read the Bible. During his illness, Bill often sought comfort and wisdom in its words. Bill was a loving and devoted husband and father. His daughter, Kelsey, was the light of his life.
Bill believed we should all try to live the following: " The wise man speaks when he has something to say and the fool speaks when he feels the need to say something."
His Funeral will be held Wednesday, December 30 from FAY BROTHERS Funeral Home, 1 West Boylston St. with a Mass at 11:00 am in Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 111 Worcester St. Burial will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery. A visiting hour will be held from 9:30 to 10:30am at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Compassionate care for ALS, PO Box 1052, West Falmouth, 02574. www.faybrothers.com
Published by Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Dec. 24 to Dec. 27, 2015.