Cover photo for Virginia Arlene Burke's Obituary
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1938 Virginia 2016

Virginia Arlene Burke

May 6, 1938 — March 9, 2016

Surrounded by her family, Virginia (Ginni) Arlene Burke (77) peacefully passed away at home on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 after a difficult struggle with cancer. Born in Melrose, MA on May 6, 1938 to Russell E. Chesley and Arlene Woodbury (Buffington) Chesley, Ginni was the oldest of 3 girls. She attended school in Saugus and especially enjoyed playing football, basketball, and the clarinet in the band. Her family spent many happy summers together at Newfound lake in Bristol, NH. In school she focused on math and science, and later attended nursing school at North Shore Children’s and Babies Hospital in Salem, MA in order to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Over the years Ginni worked as a labor and delivery room nurse, a pediatric nurse, an animal hospital aid, a nanny, a diner waitress, a photo lab technician, an administrative assistant and bookkeeper, and even plucking turkeys to get ready for Thanksgiving. Her most rewarding and cherished position however was that of a loving and devoted wife and mother. She married Frank Weston (Wes) Burke on June 26, 1968 for all time and eternity in the Salt Lake City Temple. They raised four children, Jeffra, Joshua, Jeremiah, and Jared, and hosted numerous foreign exchange students (Diego and Javier, among others) in their home over the years. Her family was the focus of her life but she also made friends and even strangers feel as though they were family. Ginni was an involved member of the community in Tuftonboro where she and Wes made their home in 1972, as well as surrounding towns. She was a fixture at the children’s school where she volunteered and supported her children in their education. She spent over 30 years as a trained leader in the scouting program and guided her 3 boys to eagle rank, as well as most recently being a leader for her grandsons in scouting. Ginni was a leader in the NH American Mother’s Inc. group. She served on many board positions and also was awarded in a ceremony with the Governor, as 2002 New Hampshire Mother of the Year. Ginni loved sports, nature, animals and especially family history. She spent countless hours researching her genealogy and sharing her finds with her family and friends. Her passion for her ancestors and their stories lead her to travel through New England and Canada to break through brick walls and connect herself and her family to the past. She shared her knowledge and expertise in genealogy with others through volunteering and teaching them to do their own family history. Most near and dear to her heart, Ginni’s faith and church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, underscored everything she did in life. The beliefs and values that she learned since she converted in 1965 shaped her character and guided her in raising her family and the service she rendered throughout her life. Over the years she served, leading and teaching members of all ages and supporting the missionary program of the church. Ginni touched countless lives as she bore testimony of the Savior through word and deed. The life she lived was a true example of love, kindness, service, humility and faith. She taught that families are forever and we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. Ginni is survived by her husband, Wes; her 4 children and spouses, Jeffra and Karl Kill of Eliot, Maine, Joshua Burke of Tuftonboro, Jeremiah and Kirsten Burke of Tuftonboro, and Jared Burke of Wolfeboro; her 5 grandchildren, Garrett, Graham, Greyson, and Gannon Burke, and Amelia Kill; and her 2 sisters, Carolyn Sargent of Bristol, and Barbara and Michael Wade of Stratham; and many other in-laws, nieces, nephews and dear friends. Funeral services will be Thursday, March 17, 2016, 2pm, at the Wolfeboro branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 388 North Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH. Burial will follow immediately at the Thomas Cemetery in Tuftonboro, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ginni’s name to the Wolfeboro Public Library for use in genealogy. To leave a note of condolence and sign an online guest book go to: www.baker-gagnefuneralhomes.com The Baker-Gagne Funeral Home of Wolfeboro is assisting the family with the arrangments.
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