Joseph Earl Burke

Published 5:43 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

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Joseph Earl Burke, age 78, of Donalsonville, Ga., passed away Friday morning, April 28, 2023, at Southeast Health in Dothan, Ala.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at 2:00 PM at First Baptist Church Donalsonville, Ga., with Rev. Michael Wingertsahn officiating. Interment will follow in Corinth Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery with Chris Jackson, Alton Harrison, Danny Watson, Chris Thomas, Glenn Lee, and Scott Mitchell serving as active pallbearers.  The Deacons of First Baptist Church Donalsonville will serve as honorary pallbearers.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at 1:00 PM at the church.

Mr. Burke was born in Donalsonville, Ga., on November 18, 1944, to Jack Sylvanus Burke and Chastine Frasier Burke.  He was a 1962 graduate of Seminole County High School and served in the Georgia National Guard.  Mr. Burke was a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in Animal Science.  Joe and Beverly owned Burke Insurance and Realty and had been in the insurance business for 40 plus years. He was active in the community, having served as a County Commissioner, a member of the City Council, and Mayor of Donalsonville.  Mr. Burke was a member of the Lions Club, Seminole County Young Farmers, and enjoyed being a part of the Hardees’ Breakfast Club. Beekeeping was a hobby that he enjoyed, as well as hunting and fishing.  Mr. Burke was an active member of First Baptist Church Donalsonville where he served as a Deacon, taught Sunday School, and had been a member of the Missions Prayer Group (meeting and praying for missions every Monday morning for the past 19 years). Spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, was an important part of his life.  He was a Godly husband, father, and grandfather; a friend to all who never met a stranger.  

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He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 56 years, Beverly Burke, of Donalsonville, Ga.; his children, Joseph Earl Burke, Jr. and Jeremy Earl Burke and wife Maribeth all of Donalsonville, Ga., and Anne Marie Miller of Iron City, Ga.; his honorary daughter, Brenda Howell of Donalsonville, Ga.; his honorary mother-in-law, Bernice Yates Tufts of Bainbridge, Ga.; and his brother, Travis Burke and wife Caleta of Tallahassee, Fla.  Also surviving are his grandchildren, who were his world, Jeb Burke and Leah Miller;  as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  

Mr. Burke was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Chastine Burke and his brother, Thomas Edward Burke.