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“Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the death of your dear love one may God give you strength to endure this most difficult time of your live...Read More »
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When I die, she said,
I'm coming back as a tree with deep roots
& I'll wave my leaves at the children every morning on their way to school
& whisper tree songs at night in their dreams.
Trees with deep roots know about the things children need
-- Brian Andreas

After a long-fought battle with lung cancer from an entrenched position, on Tuesday October 3rd, 2017, Jeanette Burke, 72, stepped out of her foxhole, met death with a steely gaze, donned her wings and flew home. She was born December 10, 1944 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania but, not destined to be a city girl, the family moved to Rising Sun, Maryland at the age of five, thus entering the "Tom-boy" phase of her life. She spent many days exploring the woods, fishing, playing with her sisters and helping with farm chores, which, recalled by all who knew her, was not the source of fond childhood memories. Upon graduation from Rising Sun High School she flew the coop and once again became a city girl, this time to Wilmington, Delaware where she worked at Wilmington Hospital as an EEG Tech. She met W. Arthur Burke and they wed in her 19th year, at which time she became step-mother to 6 year-old John Arthur. In 1968, in her 24th year, she lost an infant daughter, Melanie… she carried that pain with her all her days. The summer of 1970 brought Stephen to the family.

She had a deep and abiding love for children. One of her greatest pleasures was time spent teaching children, who struggled to read, the joy of reading. Her love and tolerance, for the adults those children would become, was more selective. She was an avid reader and spent innumerable hours with her nose buried in a book, her "window to the world". She took great pride in her home and her family. Rarely was an item found out of place in her home or yard. Ocean City, Maryland was her "happy place" and many summers were spent enjoying family time there. She had a wild side, always drawn to "bad-boys"… she joined the motorcycle crowd after she turned 40, some might call it a mid-life crisis…certainly her right knee did. In her later years she took great comfort in the sisterhood she found in her women's spirituality group. Jeanette possessed a razor wit and a dry sense of humor. Her many grandchildren were often a great source of joy, as was her beloved dog Buddy.

She was predeceased by her parents, Stephen and Grace (Osborne) Johnson, as well as her big sister Virginia Hess. She is survived by her sisters, Eileen Eshelman and Marianne Felty and husband Carlton "Buddy"; John Arthur and wife Wendy and his children Shannon, Ashlee, Jenny and John Arthur; son Stephen and wife Cindy and their children Grayson and Ainsley as well as many beloved nieces and great-grandchildren.

Her family wishes to extend thanks to her many friends at First Unitarian Church as well as Sylvia Capotrio and Angie Kim. Special thanks to her wonderful medical team, firstly her friend and physician Dr. Cynthia Heldt as well as her Hospice care-givers, Debbie from Heartland Hospice and Jonell Carter with Season's Hospice - your loving care eased a difficult time.

Final arrangements are through Chandler Funeral Home in Wilmington. The family will arrange a private memorial at a future date.

The family requests no gifts or flowers, instead well-wishers can make a donation in her memory to St. Bonaventure Indian Mission & School in Thoreau, NM, a charity she joyfully supported for many years.