Obituary of Burrill P. Burke
Burrill P. Burke, age 85 of Halfmoon passed away peacefully at home on Friday, June 24, 2022. Born on October 10, 1936 in Waterford, he was the son of the late Stephen and Olga Burke.
Burrill was raised in Cohoes, and moved to Halfmoon in 2002, where he lived on century-old family property. As a child, he began working for his parents’ business as he attended Cohoes Elementary School and Albany Academy, where he graduated in 1954. At Albany Academy, he played basketball and soccer and obtained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He earned his B.S. from Siena College, and did graduate work at NYU. Burrill spent his career as a teacher, beginning at Mechanicville High School, teaching biology, physics, and chemistry. It was at Mechanicville where he met Bettina Hall, his future wife of 62 years. They married in 1960.
He then moved onto Waterford-Halfmoon schools, continuing to teach sciences in grades 7-12. He served as a class advisor and science department chair. His teaching journey then led him to Shaker High School where he taught biology for over 25 years, also serving as a class advisor and took on many leadership roles in the Teacher’s Association as president and chief negotiator for teachers contracts. He was a fierce advocate for teachers advancing their professional role. He retired from Shaker in 1992.
He kept busy in retirement, spending time on the family property, tending to his large garden, and working in the wood lot up until his recent illness. He was involved in the religious education program, Holy Names Society at St. Ambrose Church. He passed on a strong work ethic and importance of education to his 6 children. He was proud of the adults they became.
He spent many hours at multiple school and athletic events of children and grandchildren, most recently returning to Albany Academy to watch his grandson play ice hockey. He was always the teacher; sharing things he learned throughout his life with his grandchildren, wanting them to be accomplished and happy.
After his wife retired from education in 1999, they began traveling aboard yearly with their dear friends Bob and Judy Whalen. They visited most of Western and Eastern Europe as well as Alaska and Hawaii. Greece and Italy were his favorites, and they returned several times. In recent years he loved taking summer vacation trips to Cape Cod and Rehoboth Beach, DE.
He is survived by his loving wife Bettina Hall Burke, children Michael (Maryann) Burke, Michele (Andre) Dalbec, Cathleen (Fredrick) Carew, Thomas (Christelle) Burke, Constance Burke, and Elizabeth (Patrick) Pomerville.
He was the beloved Papa to Lauren (Robbie) Smith, Zachary Burke, Powell Burke, Grace Bissell, and Jackson Bissell.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, June 29th from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Catricala Funeral Home Inc., 1597 Route 9 in Clifton Park, with a funeral mass on Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Crescent.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to The Albany Academies Annual Fund, 135 Academy Rd., Albany, NY 12208. The Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by going to https://donate.lls.org/lls/donate.
In Loving Memory
1936 - 2022
The Catricala Funeral Home Inc. is owned and managed by Eric A. Catricala. It is also run by funeral director, Mark J. Delaney.
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Catricala Funeral Home Inc.
1597 Route 9
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