Gloucester — Ralph G. Burke, 81, of Gloucester, husband of the late, Ruth A. (Gill) Burke, passed away on September 11, in the Seacoast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, with his loving family at his side.
Ralph was born in Gloucester, on December 7, 1930, the son of the late William and Ella (Furniss) Burke.
A graduate of Gloucester High School with the Class of 1949, he continued his education at Boston University earning his BA as an English Major. Ralph led a very full life. While in high school he was twice recognized in a national writing contest. He studied in The Language Center in Washington D.C. being very proficient in Russian, French and Spanish, before serving proudly as a member of the United States Army, in Hokkaido, Japan, doing intelligence work during the Korean War.
He was an avid vegetable and flower gardener, an accomplished cook, a history buff, loved the Gloucester Symphony and had an extensive library and was an aficionado of literature and classical music. Nothing pleased him more than visiting and vacationing in the Lakes Region and the White Mountains area of New Hampshire. Ralph was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Riverdale and sang in their choir as a team member and also as a soloist. He was a social worker for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and taught a writing course at Salem State College.
He is survived by his daughter, Debra Mann and her husband Dr. Neil Mann; a granddaughter, Leah Joelle Mann, all of Gloucester; a grandson, Dustin Joseph and his wife Michele of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; special cousins, Diane Sperry and Ronald Fleet; special friends, Brien and Lisa Riley, Lucy and Peter Lawson, Jeanette Lattoff, Tom Harvey, Herb Joseph, Helen Joseph and Scott Joseph all of Gloucester and Rev. Montjane. His buddy and companion, his calico cat, Cali, will miss him terribly. He was predeceased by his brothers, Norman and Richard Burke, and his sister-in-law Betty and her husband Arthur Salo.