William Richard Burke
October 7, 1954 – September 27, 2019
William Richard Burke October 7, 1954- September 27, 2019
“Bill” Burke passed away in the arms of his brothers on September 27, 2019 at Community Hospital in Toms River, NJ. Bill was born in New York City to John James and Margaret Theresa Burke on October 7, 1954. John and Marge provided an upbringing for Bill that kept him at the center of the family, and watched with pride as he took on challenges, exceeded expectations and defied the norms of the times. Bill and his two brothers, Jim and John, formed a childhood bond they cherished throughout his life. Originally from Paramus, Bill spent most of his days in Ocean County, NJ but enjoyed traveling to Ireland, the European continent, Virginia, Delaware, Florida, California and Hawaii with his family. Bill’s many interests included attending Bergen Catholic HS and Rutgers University football games, Special Olympics swimming, watching pro wrestling, and serving as manager of his weekly bowling team. His passions though, were being 100% Irish and serving as Lawrence Welk Show’s number one fan! A natural “toast master”, he thrived at center stage, providing guests with funny, touching and heartfelt sentiments perfect for the occasion. Bill’s special gifts of enthusiasm and love have truly been a source of inspiration, joy and education for all he encountered. Bill was an enthusiastic member of the Knights of Columbus, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and Sons of the American Legion. A true patriot, he was particularly proud of the military service of his family members in the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard. Bill established a life of his own, supported by caring residential and day program care givers. Bill always considered himself “staff’ and was happiest when assisting the actual staff with their responsibilities. Our Family would specifically like to express our gratitude to The Arc of Ocean County, Community Hospital of Toms River, New Jersey, Encompass and Hampton Ridge nursing facilities and to Bill’s many attending Doctors, Nurses and caregivers who treated him over the years and in the final months of his struggle with pneumonia. Bill is survived by his brothers Jim and John, sisters-in-law Terry Burke of Carlsbad, CA and Bryn Burke of Naples, FL, nephews Jim, Brian and Sean, nieces Jennifer, Megan, Mairin and Evelyn and 21 grand nephews and nieces. Our Family’s “connector”, he was first on the phone to proudly announce that he was “an Uncle Again” with the arrival of each new Burke-21 times! On October 15, Bill will be interred at The Cemetery of The Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury, Long Island, NY, alongside his parents, following a funeral Mass at Saint Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church at 9:45 AM. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 from 4 to 7 PM at the Barnegat Fire Company, 11 Birdsall Street, Barnegat, NJ 08005. Celebrations of life for Bill will also be held in Alexandria, VA, and Carlsbad, CA. In lieu of flowers those who wish may consider donations in Bill Burke's name to:The ARC of Ocean County Chapter, 815 Cedar Bridge Road, Lakewood NJ 08701, The Arc of Northern Virginia or a charity of choice that supports individuals with developmental disabilities.
The Carlsbad Celebration of Life
The Crossings at Carlsbad
5800 Crossings Drive
- Funeral Mass Tuesday, October 15, 2019
- Committal Service Tuesday, October 15, 2019
- Lunch Reception to follow: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
- Celebration of Life Wednesday, October 16, 2019
- Alexandria, VA Memorial Mass Thursday, October 17, 2019
- Alexandria Celebration of Life Thursday, October 17, 2019
William Richard Burke
October 16, 2019
Bill was one of the greatest people that I have ever had the pleasure of getting to meet. He was a kind, happy go lucky soul who brought a smile and a laugh to everyone he met. Bill changed my life in more ways, and taught me more lessons about life than I could ever begin to list. I am so very fortunate that I got the chance to know him so well over the last 4+ years that I knew him. I will always consider Bill a friend, so much so that he is like family to me. I will always cherish the times that we had together, and the memories that we share.
October 7, 2019
Bill always brought his tremendous smile and happiness to The American Legion Post 5 in Rehoboth Beach, DE whenever he graced us with his presence . He was a ray of sunshine that we will forever remember. I looked forward to his visits. What a wonderful human being. We were so blessed to have had Bill in our company. He provided us with a very positive outlook in life that was enjoyed by all. Regardless of what was going on around you, Bill's. smile and friendship would brighten your day. I, We are proud that he chose us as friends. We will miss his wonderful personality. God Speed my friend. Buddy Clark, Past Commander, Post 5
October 2, 2019
Bill was truly a great friend. He always managed to add to any conversation or event . All who met him , were better for the experience
Very few of us will ever reach our full potential but there is no doubt that Bill not only reached his but surpassed it. Jim and John provided Bill with the opportunity to live a long and useful life, overcoming obstacles that would have stopped all but a few
Bill accompanied us on a golfing trip to Ireland in 2009. I doubt many remember the details of that trip but all remember Bill . He presented toasts before all our communal dinners that were heartfelt and sincere
I will miss you but send you on your way with a traditional Irish farewell
"Death leaves a heartache , no one can heal but love leaves a memory that no one can steal"