Celebrating the life of David Mark Burke
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Dave was born on January 10, 1953, in Bluefield, WV, the third of four children of Frank and Anne Burke. He enjoyed his childhood, having the run of the hills; a bundle of energy, he could out hike, outrun, and out-tease all of us.
In 1964, the Burke family was transferred to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dave graduated from CDA High in 1970; and, he attended North Idaho College. He later took classes at Carroll College and Helena School of Technology where he earned his certificate in aviation mechanics.
He married Lujeanne Walton, his high school sweetheart, in 1979 in Coeur d'Alene, and they have a son, James. They later divorced.
Dave's main career, up until moving to Big Timber, was in the drilling and mining industry, first working as an underground miner at Bunker Hill in northern Idaho. He also worked in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, during the oil boom.
His work with Longyear Company sent him to remote sites by helicopter to diamond drill core samples. He enjoyed his assignments in the Northwest, regaling us with his many adventures. The one that comes to mind is his being chased by a bear in Alaska, and "bearly" escaping.
After moving to Big Timber in the late 90's, Dave found his special person in Vicki Schiltz.
They enjoyed ranching together; and, she taught him the ropes. She passed away in 2013. Dave operated heavy equipment for Sweet Grass County until his retirement.
Dave was known for his adventuresome spirit, his outstanding work ethic, his independence, and old-fashioned values. He loved all of his dogs and appreciated the camaraderie of his friends and family.
David is survived by his ex-wife Lujeanne, of Coeur d'Alene; his son, James, of Boise, Idaho; his father Frank Burke and his wife Adele of Port Richey, FL; sisters Patti Burke and Cindy (Dave) Holcomb, and brother John Burke, all of Helena; niece Heather Vargas-Lyon (Jorge) of Seattle; and nephew, Will Lyon (Amelia) of San Mateo, CA; special friends Rick Jones of Big Timber and Jeff Carlson of Coeur d'Alene.
David, you are loved, and will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, dear brother.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 8, at 4:30 at the American Legion in Big Timber, Montana.
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110 East 3rd Avenue
Big Timber, MT 59011