January 23, 1964 – March 18, 2020
On March 17, 2020 Patrick P. Burke passed away peacefully surrounded by family after a short and hard-fought battle with metastatic melanoma. Born on January 23, 1964 in Buffalo, NY to Fred and Mary (Rodgers) Burke, Patrick was the second of five siblings. He received his B.A. in music education from the University of Tennessee in 1987. After graduation and spending one year teaching band in Raleigh, NC, Patrick accepted a position in Virginia at Hayfield Secondary School. During his 31 year tenure at Hayfield he directed middle and high school bands, fostering a community of smart, funny, and on-time students. He taught at Hayfield for the remainder of his career before retiring in June of 2019. On November 27, 1993, Patrick married his best friend Karen, together they raised two amazing children, Keelin and Mitchell. Patrick loved family, friends, food, and travel. In his short retirement he discovered a passion for photography and was learning to cook, taking over the kitchen duties from Karen. He was known for his kindness, quick wit and unfailing support for his students and colleagues. Patrick will be forever remembered by his wife and best friend of 27 years, Karen and their children, Keelin (Bradley), Mitchell and by his extensive family and dear friends. A memorial service will be arranged at a later date.
March 18, 2021
I was a student of Pat Burke's from 1999-2003, playing French horn in the Hayfield wind ensemble. He was the only teacher I had throughout high school. He was a safe space to return to -- both at the start of each new and challenging year, and during every other day when there was rehearsal. He was funny, he was demanding and firm. He was a consummate educator. He taught me to love playing in an ensemble. To be a good listener, an unselfish contributor. We started each rehearsal warming up with a Bach chorale. When we had guest conductors he would steal my crossword puzzle and fill in blanks with symbols, faces and shading -- rendering it un-finishable. I suspect that entertained him, as he must've known the puzzle entertained me while he workshopped difficult passages with woodwinds. I doubt there is more I can add that hasn't already been shared about him. He made a difference in my life, I miss him greatly, and I am so terribly sorry for his family.
March 3, 2021
I had Mr. Burke for guitar 1 when I was a sophomore in 2016-2017, he was so nice and caring, you could tell he had such a strong passion for music. When I had fallen very ill that year and missed a lot of school he didn’t hesitate to help in any way he could, he allowed me to skip a lot of the work I missed and still gave me an A. Mr. Burke was one of the nicest teachers I ever had in high school, that class was one I always looked forward going to. For I’ll always remember him, I just recently found out about his passing so I want to leave this little message here to his friends and family to share a beautiful memory I had of him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
February 7, 2021
I was saddened today when I learned that Pat had passed away. He and I were fraternity brothers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the mid 1980s. Pat was a great friend to everyone, and was one of the most wonderful people I've ever known.
February 7, 2021
I am shocked and saddened to hear of Pat's passing. While at UT he was a great friend and so much fun to be around. He presented me with my rose and bid card to become a Little Sister at Pi Kappa Phi. I will forever treasure our friendship and our travels together as members of the Pride. My deepest sympathy to his wife and children.
February 7, 2021
My husband and I were looking up Patrick today on the internet to see where he was and we came across his obituary. It is with so much regret that we lost touch with him and now will never have the opportunity to reconnect. We knew Patrick in college and have the absolute best memories of our time at UTK with him. Peace and love to all who loved him.
February 1, 2021
I went to google Mr. Burke's name today to contact him and to thank him for something he did for me many years ago in highschool and when i found out he had passed away fairly recently was so crushed. I never got the opportunity to thank him personally.
Ive been a musician my entire life basically and before I attended Hayfield High School i attended Valley Forge Military Academy and was in their marching band (considered one of the best HS marching bands in the world) for two years. When i came to Hayfield as a Junior i entered regular band instead because I just wasn't able to transition from a professional military marching band environment to a normal high school band. At first this really annoyed Mr. Burke because he wanted me to be first chair clarinet in his marching band and help tutor the other students when needed. I refused and stayed in his other class. Not knowing what to do with me, Mr. Burke allowed me to just go into the private rooms in the back where people practiced. At first i would just sleep in those rooms ( was caught many times by Mr. Burke xD) but then something special happened. One day I went into one of the back rooms to sleep and instead found a keyboard. That random keyboard sitting in the room changed everything for me. I began playing on it and quickly discovered my new obsession that has been with me ever since. These days I'm a music producer as well :D
Thank you Mr. Burke for being so kind and understanding. He knew there was no point at the time having me in the regular classroom because I was to advanced and instead of kicking me out of the class he gave me something special without even realizing it.
I don't know what Mr. Burke's religious beliefs were or if he believed in heaven, but to me heaven is how you are remembered by others. I have thought about Mr. Burke at least once a month, and will never forget what he gave me through his kindness.
June 26, 2020
My brother Patrick and I were considered "Irish twins" because Patrick was born 11 months after me. So every year my brother and I were the same age for a month. I used to hate that because Patrick got to stay out longer at night just because he was a boy. It seems pretty stupid now. That although Patrick and I were very different, I loved him very much. I don't even remember Patrick ever raising his voice to anyone. I wish that he was here so I could tell him how much I appreciated his help when our mother died, and how kind he was to all of us.
The only thing that makes me feel better is the fact that he is with Mom, Dad, and Matthew now. God bless.
April 3, 2020
I think of Mr. Burke whenever I see parts of Mr. Holland's Opus... And I watch the movie whenever it is on so I think of him a lot! To modify a quote from the movie: "I think that Mr. Burke achieved a success far beyond riches and fame. Each of us is a better person because of Mr. Burke. We are his symphony. We are the melodies and the notes of his opus. We are the music of his life." And he added to the music of our lives. He guided our children and made them stronger people than when they started. I will be forever grateful for the support he provided my daughter. He did the same for the parents. He trusted us with supervising the students, making sure their uniforms were just right, renting trucks, and moving equipment on and off, on and off, and on and off those trucks. He was a special human being who impacted many lives and he will be sorely missed.
March 23, 2020
I was a senior at Hayfield the year Mr. Burke began teaching there. It was just today that I learned it was only his second year teaching. He was evidently a born teacher and had an approach that made you feel confident to try and willing to learn. He was kind and supportive. The world has surely lost a great teacher.
March 22, 2020
I didn't know Pat long. I met him shortly after he retired. He was the Principal Tuba with the Arlington Concert Band and a guest conductor. He was an amazing musician and a great source of confidence and support for the rest of us in the Tuba section. His charm, warm personality, positive outlook and quick wit were all things I looked forward do each week when we saw each other. We will miss him as a player-coach and a fun guy to be around.
He played in this concert: https://arlingtonconcertband.org/2019/12/09/winter-2019-concert-recording/
March 21, 2020
This is very sad news for our local community. The former Hayfield Band Director Mr. Burke has passed away. All my children took band at some time in their school years. Mr. Burke taught them all. He was a great teacher and a great man. As a parent, I felt my children were "safe" being part of his band family!
This is a personal loss too. He was one of many in the community that offered support during our family's loss. He took Megan to Europe as part of the American Music Abroad Tour. I’m sure; the Hayfield community is well served with Mr. Burke joining Mr. Krushinski in heaven’s music department! Rest in peace, Mr. Burke!
March 21, 2020
Pat Burke was a wonderful teacher and fine role model for the students he mentored over his 31 years. He was a fixture at Hayfield Secondary. His band students were so lucky to have him, including my two sons. He was such an inspiration to so many. I remember with fondness the many band competitions & trips over the years. Our thoughts & prayers are with his family at this difficult time!
March 21, 2020
Celebrating Mr. Patrick Burke's life and service! We celebrate his passion for music education and life lessons to students for 31 years at Hayfield Middle and High School. God is good through him.
Che, Atsuko, Jonathan, & Justin Russell
March 20, 2020
My son was a student of Mr Burke’s, so I was a band mother. Pat was such a fine, caring, funny man with a wonderful sense of kindly humor. He was so supportive of the students and helped to create a community of care and respect for all the students in the band program. What a prince of a man!
March 20, 2020
I never saw him again after he graduated high school, but the two years we were in band together were fun. I remember his smile and him being the most adult teenager I had ever seen. I have attached the only picture I have of him playing bass in the jazz band in high school. He wore a sports coat to play bass in the jazz band. He was always available to offer fatherly advice to younger immature classmates like myself. He knew what he wanted to do with his life then and I see that he went on to do it and taught many young students to live music as much as he did. My deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and students.
March 20, 2020
Mr. Burke made the world a better place. He brought beautiful music into our lives. He expected the best out of his students and he brought the best out of them musically and as fellow humans. My son appreciated Mr. Burke's sense of humor. I appreciated his life lessons. Quote from Mr. Burke "15 min early is on time". Mr. Burke cared about each student. He has a special place in all of our hearts.
March 20, 2020
Pat and I taught together at Hayfield Secondary for 17 years. He was dedicated, passionate and carried so deeply about all of his students. I loved to go by his room and see him working at his craft - leading the kids in the band room. My heart goes out to his family.
March 20, 2020
Mr. Burke was my son's music director with the Hayfield Marching Band and the Wind Ensemble, retiring the same year my son graduated. He was kind and well-respected man who shaped many lives for the better. I am saddened and shocked by the news. Farewell Mr. Burke - it was a life well lived!
March 19, 2020
I only met him once, but it was him who first recruited me for marching band, which in only 1 year has become the greatest experience of my life