Marion B. Burke
May 25, 1921 – July 15, 2021
Marion B. Burke of Salem (formerly of Swampscott) passed away on July 15, having recently celebrated in May her 100th birthday with family and friends. Mrs. Burke died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family members after a very brief illness. Never wanting to live so long that she lost her independence or use of her keen mind, “Centennial Woman” left her family of 6 children, 20 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren, on her own terms, living a robust, independent and active life until her final hours.
Mrs. Burke was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1921. She spoke every day with her sister, Sadie Saxe, until Sadie’s death in 2005. Mrs. Burke also maintained a close bond with her two brothers, Dr. Alfred Winer and his wife Dr. Miroslava Biljana “Billy” Nikitovitch-Winer, of Lexington, KY, and David Winer and his wife Shirley, of Boynton Beach, FL. Even at 100, Mrs. Burke used her iPad to FaceTime with her brothers. When Mrs. Burke was 12, her beloved 9-year-old brother, Bernard “Sonny” Winer passed away. She adopted the middle name “Bernice” as a tribute. Her family endured the depression, food rationing and her brothers going to war. She credited her forever closeness with her parents, Joseph and Sarah Winer, and siblings to growing up under difficult circumstances. Mrs. Burke received a full scholarship to Radcliffe College, but chose not to attend as her family required her salary working as a legal secretary for a judge in Boston.
The “Roaring 20’s” was a decade of significant change and adapting to new technology prepared Mrs. Burke for the future. Mrs. Burke lived through a decade of innovations such as radio, cars, and the family’s first 4-party telephone line. The family gathered weekly to listen to “The Shadow” on the small family radio and savored each episode. She marveled when comparing the technology of her youth with her current ability to stream shows on her iPad. She especially loved courtroom dramas. She anticipated with excitement the wireless arrival of photos and video of her newest great-grandchildren and was thrilled to ride on the Nahant causeway in a self-driving Tesla. She often said, “I never thought I’d live to see the day,” and welcomed the opportunity to experience modern innovations.
Upon marrying Albert Burke, she joined her husband at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington, where she served as a shorthand stenographer for military trials. After the war, they returned to raise six children in Swampscott. Mrs. Burke was known to rise early to start laundry, house-cleaning, and prepare lunches and breakfast before anyone awoke. Her straight vacuum cleaner lines rivaled the grass stripes at Fenway. She was a taskmaster, getting her family to the beach or on the ski lift by 8 a.m. to enjoy the best part of every day. She was proud of her involvement in the lives of her children, including her 25-year leadership role with Temple Beth El (Lynn) PTA. Mr. and Mrs. Burke divorced in 1980 and he passed away in 1998.
In 1980, Mrs. Burke became a real estate broker. Her 40-year career began with Carlson Real Estate, where she was awarded every level of recognition for her production. Around the same time, her sons, Joe and Jim, started Burke Bros. Construction. While they did the building, Mrs. Burke provided input on the design of single-family homes and handled all aspects of marketing and sales. Joe Burke described that the only time the construction sites came to a halt was when their mother visited to check on progress. In 2008, she moved her desk to Raveis Real Estate in Marblehead. She adored her extensive real estate family. Even though Mrs. Burke ceased going to her office daily in February 2020 because of the pandemic, she never really retired as she still checked property listings every day. She was highly regarded by her peers for her preparedness, never leaving her home without dressing impeccably and treating everyone with respect and honesty. Many of her original clients from the 1980’s returned to work with Mrs. Burke, as did their children. Throughout her life, Mrs. Burke greeted each day with optimism, let bygones be bygones and hugged and kissed strangers like they were family. Her life was made full by seeing her children and grandchildren daily, enjoying family dinners and walks along Kings Beach.
Mrs. Burke was not shy about her greatest achievement – her six children, 20 grandchildren and 21 great-children. Those she leaves behind include Anita (Melvin) Weissburg and their children, Jesse (Candace), Ariel (Ronald) Weissburg-Rivera, Micayla (Jeremy) Hirsch, Alexandra (Brendan) Connolly, Adrianna and Gabrielle; Jamie (Chester) Goldberg and their children, Jaren (Ron) Landen, Sarah (Brent) Chandler, Lerrin (Steven) Reinecke, Jordan and his fiancé Nate Rosenblum, Brielle (Jeremy) Stewart and Jackson; Donald “Alexander” Gardener; Joseph and his fiancé, Patricia Ryan, and his former wife, Susan and their children Jennifer (Suraj) Krishnamurthi, Jeff (Caitlin) and Dana; James (Virginia) and their children Lindsay and Ashley (Sam); and Scott (Heather) and their children Cameron, Kendall and Avery. In addition to 21 great-grandchildren, Mrs. Burke leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service was held to celebrate this remarkable woman.
Burial was at Pride of Lynn Cemetery. Donations may be made to a charity of choice.
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Burial is private
Marion B. Burke
July 19, 2021
My deepest sympathies to all members of the Burke family. She is no longer with you, but she will remain forever in your hearts and memories.
July 18, 2021
My sincere condolences to the Burke family. Larry Boyle