Edwin Jay Burke passed away peacefully on July 21, 2018 at the age of 93. Everyone knew him as “Jay”. He was born in Flagstaff, Arizona on September 5, 1924 to parents Simeon and Ola (Harris) Burke. Jay was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He served in the army during World War II during the “Battle of the Bulge” and was with the 99th division; the first full division to cross the Rhine at the Remagen Bridge. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, The American Campaign Medal, The European – African – Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, The World War II Occupation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge. On March 10, 2016 he was humbled by being honored at the 393rd Infantry Ball at Fort Hood, Texas. While there they awarded Jay with the distinguished Order of Saint Maurice Medal. Saint Maurice is the patron Saint of the Infantry soldier. After the war he graduated from the University of New Mexico. He worked with the Corps of Engineers and served as the Resident Engineer for Construction at Fort Bliss, Texas. Jay joined NASA and worked at the White Sands Test Facility, New Mexico and the Johnson Space Center Houston. He retired from NASA in 1986.
He is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Mabel “Louise” Burke; along with their three children; Karen and husband Ed McCormick, Merridith and husband Scott Cary, and Bryan and wife Dawn Burke; four grandchildren; Travis and wife Melissa Hodges, Justin Hodges, Megan Cary, Faith and husband John Lane; as well as two great grandchildren; Berkley and James Lane.
Jay moved his family to Friendswood, Texas in 1971. He was a member of the Masons for 64 years in the Anson Jones Lodge, Friendswood, Texas and the Clovis Lodge, Clovis, New Mexico. He was also a celebrated member of the Steel Bandits of the Arabia Shrine Temple, a local steel drum band and group of “Yellow Bird” enthusiasts. Jay and Louise enjoyed dancing with their club, The 2 Left Feet. For years Jay was a renowned baker, known for his special cookies. It brought him great joy to make his gourmet treats and see how much everyone enjoyed them.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 4:00 P.M. at Webster Presbyterian Church, 201 NASA Rd 1, Webster, TX 77598.
The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors at St John’s Methodist Hospital in Nassau Bay, Texas for their excellent and loving care. Jay requested that in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Shriners Children’s Hospital.
Condolences may be sent to the Burke family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com.