John “Jack” Burke, age 95, of Mansfield formerly of East Falmouth died peacefully at home on February 8, 2018 with loving family by his side. Jack was predeceased by his beloved wife of 70 years Jane Doherty Burke in 2015. Now they are together again.
Jack was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois on May 28, 1922 the son of John Burke and Elizabeth (Clark) Burke and grandson of Irish immigrants. He graduated from Quigley Prep School and later attended Northeastern and DePaul. He was a lifelong Cubs fan.
Jack served in the United States Navy as an electronics tech on the destroyer USS Baldwin during World War II. He was part of the first group of military to be trained in LORAN.
Dad participated in the D-Day invasion and saw action in North Africa and Italy. He returned to Normandy, in retirement, and was touched deeply by the cemetery and the French people who thanked him, as an American, for helping to free France.
While stationed in Boston, Dad met and married the love of his life Jane Doherty, our mother, in 1945. They celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2015.
Jack was an auditor with the Hartford Insurance Group for nearly forty years living and working in Illinois, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Mom and Dad spent thirty wonderful years of retirement in East Falmouth, where Dad attempted to improve his golf game, read, shoot pool and nap. He was a devout communicant of St. Anthony’s Church for thirty years.
Our Dad taught us the values of unquestioning love and forgiveness by example. He instilled in his children the importance of family, hard work, integrity and education. Dad considered the dictionary and an atlas two of the most important books ever published and taught us to run for them whenever we didn’t understand a word or couldn’t locate a place. He poured over maps before any trip, sometimes several at a time. Unfortunately, Dad always attempted to find a better way from location to location and was famous for taking “shortcuts” that left our family lost and late for everything… except mass.
Our Dad was very proud of his Irish heritage and Irish history instilling that pride in his children. Dad and Mom traveled to Ireland numerous times, in retirement, to see and feel the country of their ancestors. They loved it.
Our Dad had a wonderful sense of humor. He made every family gathering a delight and each more fun than the last. He is the finest man we’ve ever known. We’ll love you forever Daddy.
He is survived by his children: Michael and wife Katie of South Boston and East Falmouth, Deborah and husband Jerry Grabarek of Preston, CT, his son Shaun and wife Ellen of Attleboro, MA, his son Vincent and wife Deborah of Manchester, NH, and his daughter Maureen Elizabeth and husband Paul Hansen of Kingston, MA. He also leaves twelve grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. And he loved and enjoyed them all.
In addition to our Mom, Dad was predeceased by his parents, his sister Doris and brother-in-law Lee Vangarsse. Also predeceasing him was the Doherty clan: Rita (Jimmy), Henry (Terry), Bette (Fred), Joseph (Clare), and Clement. He is survived by his sister-in-law Bernice Doherty of Saranac, NY.
A private graveside service with military honors will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. A memorial mass will be held in the spring.