Helen Burke

Obituary of Helen W Burke

Helen Ward Burke, beloved wife of Thomas G. Burke and mother of three, died peacefully in her home Monday, December 19, 2016. Mrs. Burke was a power homemaker, charming in all things NY-City, and able to engage family and friends in the arts, politics, Airedales, and sports: notably, her adored Yankees. She was also one of few who could walk the walk when it came to Mastering the Art of French Cooking – les canards gave her kitchen wide birth, lest they end up suitably sauced. Mrs. Burke was born February 5, 1916, in Chicago, Illinois, to Burt Chester and Elizabeth Birks Ward of Madison, Wisconsin. A Larchmont resident during her formative years, she became a champion swimmer and diver for the Orienta Beach Club, setting records that could only be bested by a direct descendent 30 years later – her daughter, Barbie. Swimming also introduced her, through an arch rival, to Tom Burke, whom she married after graduating from Smith College in 1939. Mr. Burke died in late 1997, a year+ short of their 60th wedding anniversary. An avid golfer and bridge player, Mrs. Burke enjoyed trimming her husband in the former and, in her later years, using bridge to keep up with her peers and young friends, who formed Helen’s Bridge Club and sought her counsel in deciphering the newest conventions reported by the NY Times. She was also a devoted gardener, serving for a 2 year term as president of the Rye Garden Club. Mrs. Burke is survived by her 3 children - Thomas W. Burke and Barbara B. Haynes of Rye, and John B. Burke of White Plains – 5 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Helen was predeceased by her grandson, Ward Haynes, 9/11/2001. William H. Graham funeral Home in Rye is handling the arrangements, and a memorial service will be held at Christ’s Church, Rye, on Friday, January 6th at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, family and friends are making contributions in her memory to Christ’s Church, Rye, NY, 10580, and Hospice of Westchester, 1025 Westchester Avenue, White Plains, NY 10604.

Memorial Service

11:00 am
Friday, January 6, 2017
Christ's Church
Rectory Street
Rye, New York, United States
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