Shirley Lureen Burke, 95, of Avondale, Arizona, passed away on Friday, October 7, 2022, in the presence of loved ones. She is preceded in death by Leo, her loving husband of 44 years and is survived by her children Linda Coventry (Dennis), Thomas Burke (Trudy), Kathleen Burke, Joan Burke-Kelly, William Burke (Ann), Patricia Burke Wong (Wray), Michael Burke (Lorrie), and Mary Burke (Paul Dickson), 26 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren (and counting). Her family and friends will remember Shirley as an avid traveler who was generous, witty, curious, and above all devoted to her family and faith.
A funeral mass will be held for Shirley on October 21, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., at St. Mary of the Miraculous Medal, 1604 9th Avenue N. Texas City, TX, 77590. Interment will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 7801 Interstate HWY 45, South Texas City, TX 77590.
Shirley was born in Oak Park, Illinois on February 27, 1927, the only child of Fredrick and Virginia (Rice) Hugill. She attended Indiana University and Rosary College and was a lifelong proponent of education. Thanks to her encouragement and planning, all eight of her children pursued college degrees (including doctorates) that prepared them for a variety of successful careers.
To Shirley, who often said, "I don't like big families," her large brood required far more patience than even she knew she possessed. She made sure that all of her children were baptized in the Catholic faith, went to weekly Mass, and attended Catholic schools (she maintained these sacriﬁces alone should grant her an immediate Assumption into Heaven). Above all she taught her children to be good people, diligent, generous and helpful to others.
Shirley's love of her family was absolute, and up until recently, she could recite each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild's birth date.
Of her husband, Leo, who passed away in 1993, Shirley always prefaced memories with, "he was the funniest man I ever met." The two loved to travel and visited dozens of countries, always bringing home funny stories. After his death, she made a point of continuing to travel with family and lifelong friends as much as possible.
Throughout her life, Shirley was fortunate to have lived across the country, spending her ﬁnal years at Legacy House of Avondale, AZ. Her presence at Legacy House touched the lives of residents and staff alike, who referred to her as "Mama Shirley." In her last few years, she really enjoyed laughing at her children's silliness. Shirley's children would like to extend a special thank you to their sister Pat and her husband Wray who went above and beyond to make sure Shirley received the best of care while having lots of fun.
In lieu of ﬂowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This was Shirley's favorite charity; she contributed to this charity for over 40 years.