Eleanor Joan Burke (Ellie) died peacefully at home on 8/4/23, in West Allis, Wisconsin, after a long battle with cancer. She was 71 years old. Ellie was talented in many fields. She was a glass artist, musician, and master gardener. She performed as lead singer in the group Jet Pack in the 1970s. Her singing even delighted her studio neighbors in Pittsburgh Avenue, where she made her beautiful glasswork. Ellie exhibited in many galleries, museums, and juried shows, including 1st prize at the PMA Craft Show. She has been represented by Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Door County for many years. Her perfume bottles and whimsical pieces were examples of her sunny disposition. She was exacting in her detailed execution.
Ellie loved nature and horses. She was the go-to girl at the race track, with extensive knowledge of the stats and lineage of race horses. She also loved riding horses. Ellie's gardening skills were admired by her friends, neighbors, and family. She offered this knowledge to her customers and co-workers at the Home Depot's gardening department where she worked for many years. Ellie raised Monarch butterflies and volunteered at the butterfly habitat at her local zoo. She will be greatly missed by her friends and family.
Ellie was the 7th child of James Francis and Margaret Burke. She would humorously state that after 7 tries, “they finally got it right!" She is predeceased by brothers, Joe Burke (Bhabi) and James Burke (Diane); brother-in-law, Jack Gillespie (Mary Lou); and nephew, James Burke (Tina). She is survived by her brother, Chris Burke (Barb); sisters - Janet Takeda, Mary Louise Gillespie, Linda Burke, and Sheila Weisberg; as well as her cat, Gracie Lou; seventeen nieces and nephews; and fifteen great nieces and nephews. She was very devoted to her friends and family and active in all of their lives, including her nieces, nephews, and their children. The depth of our loss is only equaled by our love for her.
A visitation will be held at The Donohue Funeral Home, 8401 W. Chester Pike, Upper Darby, Pa from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Thursday, September 7. Funeral mass at Presentation B.V.M., 240 Haverford Rd, Wynnewood, PA 10:00 AM, Friday, September 8 followed by her interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, 626 Baily Rd, Yeadon, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ellie Burke’s name to the Melanoma Research Foundation - https://melanoma.org or (retired thoroughbreds) Old Friends www.oldfriendsequine.org, 1841 Payne Depot Road, Georgetown, Kentucky 40324.