Cover photo for Thomas S. Burke's Obituary
Thomas S. Burke Profile Photo
1946 Thomas 2022

Thomas S. Burke

October 23, 1946 — November 24, 2022

Thomas S. Burke, age 76, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 24, 2022, at Lightways Hospice in Joliet.

Thomas is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years, Patricia (Garrett) Burke, children Thomas A. Burke (friend Dreeana Smith), Jeremy (Tracy) Burke and Nicole (Brian) Burke. Gail

(Phil) Bauer, Mary (Rudy) Wolf, Joseph (Pam) Garrett and Colleen (Gregg) Ferlin.

His cherished grandchildren, Alicia, Chase, Elizabeth, Silas, Torrie, Abigail and Nora Burke and numerous nieces

and nephews including Douglas (Cari) Boersma and Melissa (Dave) Strezo,

He is preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Yvonne (Abbett) Burke, sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie (Burke) and Jerry Boersma, nephew Stewart Boersma, In-laws Floyd K and Nina (Wadsworth) Garrett.

Thomas was born October 23, 1946, in Chicago, IL. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War, where he served two tours as a US Navy Seabee. After his honorable service, Thomas began his career working for the US Marshal Service, where he worked for 22 years as a K-9 Enforcement Officer until his retirement in 2008. His commitment to service carried into his retirement when he was a member of the Memorial Squad at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Joliet Chapter One PTSD Group, Honor Flight Chicago and Stone City Post VFW. He was grateful to reconnect with other Veterans, especially fellow Seabee Frank Jones who he enlisted, served, and returned home with after two tours in Vietnam. He was also a dedicated member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Joliet.

Thomas was a lifelong fan of Indiana University basketball, the Chicago White Sox, and whoever was playing the Cubs. He was an avid golfer who was lucky enough to have three holes-in-one. He was proud to golf in the International Law Enforcement Games in 1996. He was still practicing his golf swing from his hospital bed. Tom and his father can finally play that golf game that they never got to play. When he wasn’t on the green, Thomas spent many joyous years coaching softball. After his coaching days were over, Thomas could be found basking in the sun on a Caribbean cruise or combing the beaches in Florida for shells to take home for his beloved grandchildren.

Visitation for Thomas will be Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 4-8 pm at Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 102 E Francis Rd in New Lenox. A memorial service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, 40 Houbolt Rd in Joliet at 10 am on Friday, December 2, 2022. Following the memorial service Thomas will be laid to rest at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Honor Flight Chicago or Messiah Lutheran Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas S. Burke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 1, 2022

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Kurtz Memorial Chapel - New Lenox

102 East Francis Road, New Lenox, IL 60451

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Memorial Service

Friday, December 2, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Messiah Lutheran church

40 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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