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Burke, Robert Emmett

Robert Emmett (Bob) Burke passed away at the Lethbridge Regional Hospital on March 19, 2005, at the age of 85 years. Bob is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 62 years, Dorothy Burke; his daughter Karen (Robert) Dawson and his sons Robert (Susan) and Patrick (Colleen).
He was very proud of his five grandchildren, Michael, Danny, Camille, Courtney and Sean. Bob is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister Mary and brother-in-law William Stadnicki; brother James and sister-in-law Bessie Burke; brothers Edmund, Billie, John Jr. and Richard; and by his parents John and Anna Burke.
Bob was born Dec. 11, 1919, in Macleod, the fourth child of John and Anna Burke. He received his education at the separate and public schools in Macleod.
His interest and participation in sports started at an early age that lasted until his passing. Bob played baseball and hockey at every opportunity. His fondest memories were of playing goal for the Macleod “Blue Boys” intermediate and senior hockey teams.
Bob enlisted in the Canadian Army at the outbreak of World War Two, serving with the 31st R.E.C.E and overseas with the 4th Division, Southern Alberta Regiment.
Before going overseas he married the love of his life, the former Dorothy Gilboe of Macleod at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Calgary in 1943. Returning in 1946 they continued to reside in Macleod to raise their family and live. Bob was employed by the CPR and continued his involvement in sports and youth organizations, volunteering in Little League Baseball, the Cub and Scout movement and played and coached hockey locally.
In July 1959 Bob was seriously injured working as a CPR trainman. His right leg was amputated, with recovery taking 53 days at the High River Hospital and the following year rehabilitating at the Workmen’s Compensation Clinic in Edmonton.
Bob, with his strong religious faith, determination and the undaunting support from Dorothy, was able to recover and return to work with the CPR. He continued to dedicate his time to community organizations.
Bob retired in 1981 from the CPR as the assistant chief clerk in Lethbridge. He was a life member of the Elks Lodge No. 129, Exalted Ruler (1950).
Bob’s biggest passion, after family, was the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 46. He served on the local executive for 18 years, president from 1979-’80, Zone 1 Commander in 1966, District 6 Commander from 1983 to 1989. He was awarded the Legion’s highest honour, “Palm Leaf Meritorious Service Medal” on Dec. 16, 1996, for outstanding devotion to the aims and objects of the Royal Canadian Legion.
One of his proudest moments was when he was selected by the Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 1965, for his community service.
Bob served on the board of directors of the Macleod Savings and Credit Union. He was a devout member of Holy Cross Church and served as the parish’s bookkeeper for many years.
Bob spent the last 2 1/2 years at the Extendicare facility in Fort Macleod. He deeply appreciated the care that was given to him. Thank you to the staff and visitors.
Funeral mass will be celebrated at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Fort Macleod, on Wednesday, March 23, 2005, at 10:30 a.m. with Father A. Fermo officiating.
A prayer service was held at Holy Cross Church on Tuesday, March 22, 2005, at 7:30 p.m. Interment in Union Cemetery.

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