Mary Jane Burke (nee Horne), passed away peacefully with her family around her, on December 31, 2013 in Katy, Texas.
Mary Jane Burke (nee Horne), passed away peacefully with her family around her, on December 31, 2013 in Katy, Texas. She was born in Wisconsin where she loved her grandparents' farm. She loved beauty in all its forms, starting with the land. After finishing school, she headed off to college for athletics. Although she was a very good athlete, this wasn't truly her passion. Her parents, recognizing this, gathered up all of her art work and sent her portfolio into art school. After getting accepted, she found her passion and focused it on fashion. She flourished in this environment where she apprenticed under a renowned Swiss pattern maker, but she truly shined in her millinery talent. While making a name for herself in the Midwest, she often volunteered at military hospitals helping veterans. When the Korean War broke out she joined the newly formed Air Force, where she become one of the first female air traffic controllers. There she was offered an entire cake for breakfast after a long nightshift by her next great love. Ed Burke was the tall man with the smiling eyes she had been waiting for. They had a whirlwind courtship and were soon married. They shared a love of learning and adventure. With Ed entering the new field of aerospace, they began a lifelong adventure that included a large family and many moves that took them all over the world. Even after Mary gave up her career, she continued to go school to learn and refine her beautiful art. She instilled the love of art and beauty in both her children and grandchildren. When Ed and Mary retired, she said that they had already travelled and that now they were staying home for their retirement. She created wonderful gardens and workspaces and even gave art lessons at the local museum. Throughout her life, she always found time for others, she always wanted to protect and share beauty whether it was gardening, painting, sculpting, weaving or cooking. She was well loved and will be missed terribly, but as she told her grandchildren "when you get to heaven look for me in God's garden I will be waiting for you".
She was preceded by her beloved husband, Edward Joseph Burke and son, Kevin Burke. She is survived by her children, Edward and Susan Burke of Katy, Texas, Patrick and Alice Burke Neky of Harker Heights, Texas, Simm and Robin Burke Powell of Katy Texas, Christopher and Moira Leigh Burke Sickler of Nassau Bay, Texas, grandchildren, Grace Burke, Ella Burke of Katy, Texas, Brandon and Brittany Neky Rogers of Austin, Texas, Patrick Liam Neky currently in Korea, Sean Neky and Joseph Neky of Harker Heights, Texas, Simm Powell, Kelli Powell and Edward Powell of Katy, Texas, Christopher Sickler of Nassau Bay, Texas and greatgrandchild Keira Rogers of Austin, Texas.