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This site is dedicated to the memory of
Dec 4, 1948 - Sept 23, 2004

In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story. For Patrick 'Sonny' Burke, doing the genealogy of each and every family that originated in L’Ardoise, Nova Scotia, was both a battle and an adventure.  His work was not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. In his own words...
“I developed [and still have] an uncontrollable desire and 
need to leave for my children, a road map to their past.”

In doing so, Patrick has left all of us a road map to our past. All tribes have a story teller and he is one of best. His work brought us pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. His research gave us respect for their hardships and losses, for their determination, and for their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their families.

His ten years of work, beginning in 1993, showed us their deep pride and how they fought to make and keep us a people. By doing all this he taught us that we must remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, he carried on their memory because he knew we are they and they are us.

So, as a called scribe, he told the story of our families with great dedication and with great generosity, and we place this tribute here for all to read and hopefully some of you will emulate a great story teller.  

From all of us ‘Thank you Patrick’. 

Patrick Barnaby (Sonny) Burke passed away peacefully at home in Lynden, Ont., Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004, in his 56th year, surrounded by his family and friends, after a long, courageous battle with ALS. Born Dec. 4, 1948 in New Waterford, C.B.  The eldest and much loved son of Patrick (Sonny Sr.) and Gloria (Currie) Burke

Besides his parents, he is survived by his much loved wife of 36 years, Marilyn (Sampson).  Loving father of sons, Michael Todd and his wife Sarah and Danny; and daughter Jennifer and her husband Bruce Milmine.  Proud and loving papa of Madison, Lorela, and Lyndsay Burke and Grace Milmine.  Also survived by loving brothers, Ronnie (Mary Anne) and Edward (Darlene), and loving sisters, Genevieve (Dan Devison) and Louella (Joe White) and predeceased by sister Carrolyn (1966).

He will be sadly missed by his mother-in-law, Frances Joseph and father-in-law, Eugene and Doris Sampson; brothers-in-law, Frankie Sampson (Mary), Jerry Sampson (Valarie) and Donald Sampson; sisters-in-law Sylvia Jackson (Wally) and Donna Drover (Tom).  He will be sadly missed by several aunts, uncles and especially, Auntie Adrienne and Uncle Bruno who will miss their Saturday visits; nieces, nephews, cousins; and will also be missed by all his friends, especially Alex Brown and Sid Donison for their Wednesday visits which Sonny so much enjoyed. Also will be missed by Glen Crease who was Sonny's right-hand man, friend and nurse of 10 years.

Sonny was an employee of Dofasco for 31 years.  He was past president and zone chairman of the Lynden Lions Club which he loved dearly.  Sonny was also a recipient of the Melvin Jones Award. Also a member of the Lynden Legion Branch 500.

Thanks to Dr. D. Picketts and a very special thank you to Dr. Clive Davies for helping Sonny live to see his children wed and see his grandchildren.  Thank you to all his nurses, CCAC and Bayshore.  Special thanks to caregiver Cathy Freeborn.

Friends may call at the Marlatt Funeral Home, 195 King St. West, Dundas, Ont., (905- 627-7452), Saturday 7-9 p.m. and Sunday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Parish prayers in the funeral home Sunday at 2:15 p.m.  Service to be held Monday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. at St. Augustine's Church, 58 Sydenham St., Dundas.  Interment at Mount Zion Cemetery, Copetown.  In lien of flowers, donations to the ALS Society of St. Joseph's Villa, Dundas, will be appreciated by the family. 

Your love for life, family and friends will never be forgotten.

Dec 5, 2010 - I received an email from Mike Burke, son of Patrick 'Sonny' Burke. He sent along information at on May 29 2007, he and his wife Sarah, had twin boys. Their names are Robert John & Patrick Barnaby (Sonny) Burke.

Mike had said, "Even though the boys never meet their grandfather, they both sit in front of his picture on the wall, both of them on stools & play the guitar & sing as their grandfather used to."

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