John (Jack) Burke departed this world on June 29, 2017 at Parkwood Hospital, London ON.
John, born August 9, 1925 in Toronto ON, is the fourth child of John Joseph (1967) and Annie (Orr) Burke (1942). Brothers Stanley (1997), James (1945), Edmond (2007), and sister-in-law Ivy (2011) predecease him. John is survived by siblings Patricia Usselman (Tony 2003) of Chilliwack B.C. and David (Rita) of Invermere B.C. Many nieces and nephews will remember Uncle Jack.
John is the loving father of Judith (Chuck), Jo-Anne (Ward) and Michael (Deanne). His legacy is found in his six Dinney and Simmons grandchildren: Sunny (Mads), Jayden (Britt), Maria (Michael), Adam (April 2017), Jane (Tyler), Ann (Dan), and great-grandchildren Minni, Maggie, Harper, Benjamin, Gavin, Stuart, and Reef. Dad will be in the hearts of Jay (Tonille) and Allan Mallette and their families. Jennifer Gignac and Megan Scruton and their families will remember him. Dad loved us all to the end of the world. Dad, we loved you well.
Dad asks that we remember him in a private family service, the bequeathal of his body to the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Western University, and in this poem.
To Remember Me by Robert Noel Test (1926 – 1994)
The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital busily occupied with the living and the dying.
At a certain moment, a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don’t call this my deathbed. Let it be called my Bed of Life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby’s face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreck of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fibre and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain.
Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, some day, a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weaknesses, and all my prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil. Give my soul to God. If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you.
If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
Thanks go to Byron Medical Clinic (London), Goderich Place Retirement Home, and especially Parkwood Hospital (London). You shared with us the last leg of the journey. Because of you, Dad made this trek with dignity and grace. Thank you.
A private graveside service and interment will take place at Barrie Union Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, John’s family appreciates donations to Community Living South Huron or to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements entrusted to Haskett Funeral Home, Exeter.