WORCESTER-Bernard F. Burke, 78, of Worcester passed away Wednesday, September 2 in St. Vincent Hospital.
His wife of 50 years, Carolyn (Stevens) Burke died on June 25. He leaves many cousins in the Benison, Riordan, Trainor, Cannon and D'Arcy families, among them, his three god-children, Betsy (Riordan) O'Rourke of Worcester, Erin (Benison) Corso of Attleboro and Brian Benison, Sr. of Springfield, VA, his cousins, Virginia Bension of Holden, Anthony Benison and his wife, Eleanor of Shrewsbury, Edward D'Arcy and his wife, Peggy of Worcester and Brian McGivern of Ireland. He also leaves his sister-in-law, Andrea Chavoor of Springfield; his wife's cousins, Efi and her husband Bekim Dukaj and their two sons, Irena and her husband, Arthur Manxhari and their three daughters and Kirstofer and his wife, Fabiola Pistola and their two daughters. He was predeceased by his best friend and brother, Martin P. Burke in 2012 and by his cousins, John Burke, Anthony Burke, Francis Benison, John Benison and Agnes Benison. He was born in Worcester, son of Austin and Mary C. (Thompson) Burke and graduated from Sacred Heart Academy.
Bernie worked for the City of Worcester Fire Department and for Herbert Berg Florist. In earlier years he worked for the Telegram and Gazette, where he met the love of his life, Carolyn. Bernie had a passion for music. He was a classical pianist and loved to sing. In his youth he auditioned for and was invited to be on Lawrence Welk Show. Only to be told by his parents, that New York was too far away. He also was a great ice speed skater and had a tremendous love for horticulture. Bernie much like his brother, embraced their Irish Heritage and shared many stories with family and friends about the Burke clan in Ireland.
The Visiting Hours to Celebrate Bernie's Life will be held Saturday, September 5 from 8:30 to 9:30am in Callahan Fay Caswell Funeral Home, 61 Myrtle St. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10am in Christ the King Church, 1052 Pleasant St. Burial will be in St. John's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Christ the King Church or to the, Mary Beth Benison Foundation (MBBloves.org) P.O. Box 160, Holden, MA 01520.