Mary Burke


3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, December 17, 2023
T.J. Tracey Cremation & Burial Specialists - Sydney
6 Churchill Drive
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Monday, December 18, 2023
Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Parish Church
1452 Kings Road
Sydney River, Nova Scotia, Canada

Obituary of Mary Susan 'Susie' Burke

It is with hearts broken that we announce the passing of our dear sister, Susan Burke, age 54, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on December 9th, 2023, surrounded by her family and friends. Susan was born on January 7, 1969, to parents Jean (MacDonald) and David Burke of Coxheath. Susan leaves behind a legacy of friendship, family and community. A graduate of Riverview High School in 1987, and UCCB in 1994 (Diploma in Secretarial Science), Sue worked at the Cove Guest Home for years in office administration and went on to be employed at Servicom and Stream call centers. An advocate for accessible communities, Susan was very active for many years on the Cape Breton Chapter of the Spina Bifida Association, and sat on the board of the Persons with Disabilities Association. Following in the footsteps of her parents, Susan volunteered tirelessly for Hospice, H.E.A.L program with NSH, CBU, IWK, Regional Hospital Radiothon, and Christmas Daddies and assisted on opening day of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in 1995. Children’s Wish Foundation was a particular passion of hers and for many years, Sue could be found at the Mayflower Mall selling tickets and bringing a smile to the faces of customers. There is no end to the people Sue impacted in her life. One of the highlights of Sue’s life was participating in the 25th Anniversary of the Rick Hansen “Man in Motion” tour in 2011. Sue was particularly proud of her role as a Community Correspondent for CTV Morning Live. Susie loved listening to Anne Murray and watching The Sound of Music, and only a fool would dare to call her when it was on. Like her mother, Susie was an avid bowler for many years. Later in life – she turned her attention to knitting. And it was indeed a happy Christmas when you received some of Sue’s beautiful dishcloths. Her knitting bag, filled to the brim with yarn and needles, went with her everywhere. Susan was predeceased by her loving parents, Dave and Jean; her dear Uncle Archie MacDonald; her beloved grandparents Donald and Sadie MacDonald and Jim and Doris Burke; her godfather Angus MacDonald; Aunt Cecilia; Uncle Earl and cousin Bryan Coleman, as well as uncles Jack Horsley and Herb Shannon. Susan leaves behind her unfailingly supportive and loving siblings, brother David (Donna) Burke, and sister Leslie (Kirk) Shepard. Sue will be remembered always by her nephews and nieces, David, Hannah, Andrew and Matthew Burke and Kirk Jacob and godson Trent Shepard. Her steadfast second mom, Aunt Carolyn MacDonald, and brothers in life Craig (Sherri and Ollie) and Chad (Vanessa and Cooper) MacDonald will miss her dearly. Sue’s deep sense of family was greatly enhanced by her Great Uncle Pat and her special uncles and aunts Anita Burke, Allan (Donna) Burke, James (Doreen) Burke, Arnold (Diane) Burke, Carol Horsley, Joyce (Bob) Marra and Mary Lou Aucoin as well as her many cousins. Godmother Anne MacDonald and her longtime neighbor Donna Wall were a huge part of Sue’s life. Susan was blessed to call many people her friend but no one more so than Jim Bushnik who was her loving companion and her special friend and chosen sister, Jane Lewis. Colleen (Cann) MacKenzie, friend since childhood and Yahtzee adversary, was one of Susie’s biggest fans. Martha Warren who met her in the pediatric ward when she was a little girl, was one of Susie’s lifelong friends. Susan was one of those lucky people to have family who would do whatever was necessary to support her in leading a full, healthy and happy life. While she wasn’t expected to live past her teens, Sue defied the odds with her fierce independence and a good dose of that Burke stubbornness. The word indomitable meaning “impossible to subdue or defeat” seems to have been designed for Sue. The fearless “Wheels” could be seen flying down Coxheath Rd, daring the world to slow her down. And you had best watch your toes when Sue took to the dance floor. Her childhood was filled with road trips, camping, jaunts to Ingonish and playing games until dark, where the Burke family was at the center of the neighborhood. And there was nothing that Susie would miss if Jean, Dave, Leslie and David had anything to do with it. Susan had a social media presence larger than most of us could imagine. She was a Facebook friend to more than 1000 people and was always quick to add a loving comment, pass along a cool recipe or share a video that she thought would brighten someone’s day. And of course, her regular posts and texts on the gas prices will be sorely missed! Sue leaves behind sad hearts all over the world. Susan’s family will be forever grateful for the incredible care of the VON, Home Care services, countless doctors and healthcare workers at the Regional Hospital and the staff of the ICU who helped Susan and her family in her last hours. Your compassion, professionalism and quiet care will not soon be forgotten. The family would also like to extend a sincere thank you to her neighbourhood family who were always there for her. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, 6 Churchill Drive, Sydney, 902-539-7175. Visitation for our dear Sue will be held on Sunday December 17th from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at the Funeral Home. Funeral mass is scheduled for Monday, December 18, 11 am at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Fr. Conrad Edwards officiating, interment in Resurrection Cemetery. For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed on the T.J. Tracey Facebook page. To honour Susie, you may make a donation to one of the charities she loved: Cape Breton Chapter Spina Bifida Association; Hospice Cape Breton; Christmas Daddies, and Children’s Wish Foundation. Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting
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