Leo Burke

Obituary of Leo B. Burke

Leo B. Burke of Vestal passed away October 20, 2020 at home, after a short period of illness. He was preceded in death in 2006 by his wife of 48 years, Dorothea "Dottie" Carden Burke, a native of Herrick Center, PA who grew up in Carbondale, PA. Leo was a member of St. Vincent DePaul Blessed Sacrament Church, Vestal, NY. He was a good and kind man. Leo was born July 15, 1935 in the family home in Carbondale, PA, the youngest of 12 children of Joseph A. and Emma Coleman Burke. He graduated from St. Rose Grade and High School, Carbondale, in 1953 and received a BS in Accounting from the University of Scranton in 1957. During his college years he was employed in the Carbondale office of The Scranton Times and later as a correspondent in the Carbondale office of The Scranton Tribune. Following college, he worked for IBM Corporation in staff and management assignments in Finance in Owego NY, Burlington VT and Endicott NY, retiring in 1992. He served for two years in the U.S. Army. In retirement, he enjoyed researching and compiling family history, preparing genealogy books for his siblings. He and Dottie made many research trips to the Carbondale Public Library and the Carbondale Historical Society. They also traveled to Ireland, the land of their ancestors. Later, Leo would travel with his two sons, Leo and Ted, to visit his daughter Megan Hodges in London, England and then all four traveled to the Toberpatrick area of the parish of Skreen and Dromard in County Sligo, Ireland, to walk the land where Leo's grandfather, Edward Henry W. Burke, was born in 1850. They also visited the Heritage Centers in Sligo and County Mayo. Leo enjoyed reading both print and audio books, mainly histories, biographies, and fiction. Leo was proud of each of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and was especially fond of family gatherings. He always had fond memories of the family gatherings of his brothers and sisters and their families at his parents' home on Fox Street in Carbondale. Although he was challenged over the last several years with reduced vision, Leo always kept a positive attitude. With dedicated support from his daughter Michele, he was able to live and finish his days in his family home on Stamford Drive. Leo was preceded in death by his sisters, Mary Burke; Alice Dufault and husband, retired USAF Col. William F. Dufault; Nan Thomas and husband Joseph Thomas; and Emma Burke; and his brothers, Edward "Ted" and wife Mary Healey Burke; Joseph and wife Ann Jordan Burke; Thomas and wife Mary McCawley Burke; James Burke, who died in infancy; William Burke, who died at age four; and John Gerald "Mickey" Burke. He is survived by his five children: Susan Valentine (Rick), Alexandria, VA; Michele A. Burke, Binghamton, NY; Leo B. Burke Jr. (Bernadette), Endicott, NY; Edward H. "Ted" Burke (Christina), New York, NY; and Megan Hodges (Rupert), London, England; 10 grandchildren: Christina, William (Natalie), Steven (Lyndsey), Thomas (Therese), and Diana Valentine; Katherine (Justin Sisenstein) and Amy Burke; Juliet Burke; Nola and Willa Hodges; and seven great-grandchildren: William, Andrew, Anna, Jude, and Lillian Valentine; and Fiona and Eamon Sisenstein; also his sister, Rosemarie Burke Kennedy (Edward), Manassas Park, VA; and sister-in-law, Mary Louise Farrell Burke, Carbondale Pa; and many nieces and nephews. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Vincent DePaul Blessed Sacrament Church. Burial will be in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Friendsville, PA. Arrangements by J. A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home, Binghamton NY. Memorial contributions can be made to the Spina Bifida Association,1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste 800, Arlington, VA 22209 sbaa@sbaa.org
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