Burke died at his home in Brewster, Putnam County, New York on Monday, July 10. He was 68 and the cause of death was cancer.
A native of Ballinamere, Co. Offaly, Burke was a retired member of the New York Police Department and a former aide to Putnam County Executive, David Bruen. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1961.
As well as his years of work on behalf of the GAA, Burke was active in a number of organizations including the Offaly Association. He was also a prominent figure in various St. Patrick’s Day parades including the parade in New York City as well as others in Westchester and Putnam counties.
In more recent years, Burke offered acted as a driver and personal escort to fellow Offaly native Brian Cowen during the former Irish foreign minister’s frequent visits to New York. The two became close friends.
Burke is survived by his wife, Julia, three sons, Sean, Edward and Michael, who serves with the NYPD, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A wake is being held at Beechers Funeral home, Rte. 6 in Brewster, on Wed and Thursday 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass is set for Friday, July 15 at St. Lawrence O’Toole Church followed by burial at St. Lawrence O’Toole Cemetery.
AISLING CENTER MOURNS
The Aisling Center in Yonkers is this week mourning the loss of a beloved former colleague.
The center’s former office administrator, Marie Murphy, died in a single car accident in her native Co. Kilkenny late last week.
Murphy, who was 29, died from her injuries after being rushed to hospital.
A native of Whitecastle, Knocktopher, Co. Kilkenny, Murphy worked at the Aisling Center from 2002 to 2004, leaving the U.S. in July of that year to travel with her boyfriend Barry to Asia and New Zealand.
“People still call and ask about Marie and I think this is testimony to how people felt about her,” said the center’s Orla Kelleher.
A statement from the center said that Murphy had been highly respected by all who knew her and that she had been a friend to everyone.
Known for her hard working, kind and gentle nature Murphy had made a huge contribution to the smooth running of the center, the statement said.
“She helped hundreds of Irish immigrants, young and old, deal with many different types of situations and problems. Her memory will remain in the hearts of all who worked with and knew her in New York,” the statement said.
The center has opened a book of condolences in Murphy’s memory.
MONEY RAISED FOR MEMORIAL STONE
Plans to unveil a memorial in lower Manhattan to Irishmen who died in U.S. uniform during the Korean War are advancing with $9,000 raised to date.
The Castle Clinton area of Battery Park is the site of choice for the memorial, which is being sought by the Korean War Irish Memorial Committee.
The committee is seeking to place a single granite memorial roughly 18 inches deep, 50 inches wide and 60 tall, said committee executive secretary, Tim Murphy.
Murphy said that the memorial would have the names of the dead Irish inscribed. The branch of the U.S. military and the county of birth of each individual might also be included.
Murphy said that the committee was urging people in the New York area to contact their local political representatives and urge them to back the memorial project.
“They are American soldiers and they should not be forgotten,” he said.