Mr. Mark William Burke

  • Born: August 18, 1953
  • Died: June 6, 2019
  • Location: Westfield, New Jersey

Gray Funeral Home

318 E. Broad Street
Westfield, NJ 07090
Tel. (908) 233-0143

Tribute & Message From The Family

Beloved Husband, Father, Son, and Brother

Mark William Burke passed away suddenly on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at his home in Westfield,
New Jersey. He was 65 years young. His sharp intellect, deep humanity, insatiable curiosity
and fun-loving sense of adventure endeared him to his family, friends and coworkers. A dearly
loved husband, father, son, brother and uncle, his lasting gifts to us all are the countless
memories that he lovingly helped create.
Mark was born in Chicago, Illinois, on August 18, 1953 to Harry and Magda Burke and, along
with his two brothers, spent most of his youth in Livonia, Michigan. He graduated from the
University of Michigan and did master's level work in military history, reveling in every course he
took and emerging as both an intellectually equipped lifelong scholar of history and a devout
Wolverine. While living in Ann Arbor, Mark married his college sweetheart, Sara Jane Larson.
Together they welcomed two children, Karl and Leah into their world.
Mark's first job after graduation was on the transmission line at Hydra-matic Division of General
Motors, where he gained the statistical quality control certification that became the foundation of
his life-long career. In 1991, Mark and his family moved to Westfield, New Jersey where Mark
became a quality systems engineer with the Colgate-Palmolive Corporation. Later he worked

as a senior manager and director of quality for Elizabeth Arden and then Revlon | Elizabeth
Arden. Mark was a well-respected coworker with a quiet ability to act as a mentor to others.
A quality specialist by training, Mark lived out those talents in his personal life. Those who knew
him well, especially his family, benefited from his unbounded curiosity and insatiable quest for
quality in all things. He was a massive reader, a music enthusiast and film buff, travel planner
extraordinaire, master cook and curator of all things good. His ever growing personal library of
books and his daily thorough consuming of his beloved New York Times meant his mind
expanded with the universe every day. He had a lovely habit of connecting his discoveries with
people in his life who would delight in them. This quality made him a great conversationalist, a
champion of the interests of others and the bestower of the most personalized and thoughtful
He was preceded in death by his father Harry Walter Burke, and his maternal aunt, Irene Olga
Oelschlaeger. He is survived by his wife, Sara Larson Burke, his son, Karl Larson Burke
(Breana Rudolph), daughter, Leah Claire Burke (Dillon Schoenberg), his mother, Magdalena
Oelschlaeger Burke, and his brothers, James S. Burke and Michael S. Burke (Donna Kusper
Burke) and beloved nieces and nephews.
A memorial service to be held Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 11:00 AM with lunch reception
following at the Presbyterian Church in Bound Brook, 409 Mountain Ave, Bound Brook, NJ
08805. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Doctors without Borders or the
charity of one's choice.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Sara and family, I just learned today of Mark passing. My deepest heartfelt sympathy to all of you. You and Mark were sole mates and I cannot imagine your pain. May you feel the presence of the Lord with his loving arms around you through all the difficult days to come. Mark will be truly missed. He lives on in all your hearts. God bless

Posted by Jeanmarie Keenan - Scotch Plains, NJ   September 26, 2019

Sara and Family, sorry to hear of you loss, thoughts and prayers are with you, your Mother told Brian. Joyce and Brian Braun

Posted by Joyce Braun - Ann Arbor, MI - Friend   July 22, 2019

Hi Sara, I'm so sorry to hear about Mark. I would like to get together or talk. Please let me know your contact info. My# is 908-902-3426. All my love. Greg May

Posted by Greg May - Westfield, NJ - Friend   July 01, 2019

Dear Sarah, So sorry. Your mom told me when I talked to her June 29th. My prayers to you and your family. Sincerely, Madolyn Kaminski

Posted by Madolyn Kaminski - Ann Arbor, MI - friend   June 30, 2019



Posted by HERNANDO CARDOSO - westfield, NJ - Friend   June 25, 2019

Dearest Sara, thank you for your call, devastating as it was, with the news. Remembering Mark and the wonderful and zany times in Ann Arbor where you both studied, met, and fell in love. He was a dear friend, a loyal UM grad, and one of the most erudite and well-read historians I knew. I will never forget his love of German history, of you, and his family (his mom, Magda, am I remembering correctly?). I'm deeply affected by his loss and send and the kids my love and stay in touch. Marysia

Posted by Marysia Ostafin - Ann Arbor, MI - Acquaintance   June 17, 2019

Sara, I just heard , and am so very sorry for your loss. I know that you and your family will miss your husband , father and son❤. I wish you the comfort of family and friends and am praying for you.

Posted by Joan Quinlan - Cranford, NJ - Friend   June 13, 2019

Sara, I was traveling and just learned of Mark's passing today. Please accept my heartfelt prayers and condolences for you and your family.

Posted by Barbara Ringk - Fanwood, NJ - friend   June 13, 2019

My dear Sara,
I was so sorry to hear of Mark's sudden passing. My prayers are with you and your family. May you feel God's presence and experience His peace. Love, Carol

Posted by Carol Riddlestorffer - Clark, NJ - Friend   June 12, 2019

I am very sorry for your loss.

Posted by A friend   June 12, 2019


Posted by Elaine Woods - Brick, NJ - Friend   June 11, 2019

"Dear Sara, Karl and Leah,

With deepest sympathies, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We knew Mark as a wonderful man, a husband, father, professional, and historian. For his love of history, especially World War II, June 6th, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, was his entry into his eternal life. We send you out love."

Willa and Dave Bomgaars, Friends, Summit, NJ June 10, 2019

Posted by Dave and Willa Bomgaars - SUMMIT, NJ - Friend   June 10, 2019

Again condolences to you Sara and your family on Mark's passing.

Posted by Sylvia Woodfield - Metuchen, NJ - Friend   June 10, 2019

Sara, my deepest sympathies to you and your family on the loss of Mark.

Posted by Sue Harmon - Fords, NJ - Friend   June 09, 2019

Sara, my heartfelt prayers to God to support you in this loss of Mark. Remembering the times stopping by to see you and Mark in Westfield. Saddened now. Leslie and I reach out in love for you and your family.
Bob Foltz-Morrison

Posted by Robert Foltz-Morrison - New York, NY - Friend   June 08, 2019

Deepest sympathies to the family, so sorry for your loss. Mark was one the sweetest people, with one of the biggest hearts I have had the pleasure to know. A good man gone much too early.

Posted by Russ Dancho - Easton, CT - Coworker   June 08, 2019

Our deepest sympathies go to the family at the news of Mark's passing. Mark was beloved. His humor, gift of knowing great books, and his attentively / patience listening to the choir from his seat in the balcony at PCW. Heartfelt prayers go out for Mark and his family. Yours, The Smith Family.

Posted by Alan Smith - Mountainside, NJ - Friend   June 08, 2019

Sending you love and prayers. May God grant you peace!

Posted by Glory Thomas - Iselin, NJ - Friend   June 07, 2019

Family Album