Jack Theodore “Mannie” Burke Sr., 97, of Harrisburg, and formerly of Shippensburg, departed for Heaven Saturday, April 17, 2021, while a patient at the UPMC Harrisburg Hospital.
He was born Jan. 24, 1924, in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, the son of John Edward “Pete” Burke and Mary Rebecca (Watson) Burke.
Jack attended school in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.
He was a member of one of the better Negro League traveling baseball teams of that time, and was known to hit the ball a mile. During World War II, Jack was working at the Leonard Canning Co. in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, until he was drafted into the U.S. Navy.
He was posted to the Navy Supply Depot in Oakland, California, after completing job training in San Diego, California, until his honorable discharge on March 7, 1943.
When Jack returned to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, he began work at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg.
Several years later, he met and dated the love of his life, Sarah (Teen) Katherine Nocho. They married in the spring of 1949. Jack and Sarah started their married life in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and later purchased a home in Sarah’s hometown of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
They were blessed with the birth of one daughter, Traci Vanessa Burke, and four sons, Gregory Allen Burke (Donna) of Las Vegas, Nevada; Jack Theodore “Ted” Burke Jr. (Dianna) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Lance Nocho Burke (Tenisha) of York, Pennsylvania; and Randy Lynn Burke of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who is now deceased (Mellisa Parker).
Jack and Sarah separated after 16 years of marriage.
Soon after, Jack retired with 36 years of federal government service and remained in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, until he moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he became his daughter’s roommate.
They became active members of the original Penn Street AME Church in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, until his health declined. His daughter became his full-time caregiver until 2017.
Florence “Flo” Rittle came into their lives at that time, and began to care for Jack two hours a day Monday through Friday. Flo and Jack became great friends, and spent many hours sharing their previous and current life experiences. Their voices and laughter would ring throughout Jack and Traci’s apartment. This continued until Jack’s untimely illness in April.
In addition to Jack’s daughter and three sons, left to bereave his passing are his two sisters, Mary Louise (Dolly) Reidout of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and Vicki Kieffer (Lester) of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania; one sister-in-law, Constance L. Burke of Williamstown, New York; several grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a host of nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, his beloved Teen and his youngest son Randy, Jack was predeceased by sisters, Dorothy Gates (Leon) and Roberta Lynch (Charles); brothers, Warren M. Burke (Elizabeth), and John W. Burke; three infant siblings, Joe Louis Burke, Geneviene Burke and Betty Jane Burke; and brother-in-law, Albert E. Reidout.
Jack will be interned at the Louis Grove Cemetery, following a private graveside service.