Suzanne Burke (nee Gatti) passed away peacefully on May 1, 2022, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, surrounded by her loving family. Sue was born at her maternal grandparents' home in Flushing, NY on October 17, 1932, and baptized at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck. Raised in Great Neck, she attended St. Dominic's High School in Oyster Bay and then Fordham University, working full time and still managing to attain her degree in 4 years. On the day before her Fordham graduation in 1954, she became engaged to the love of her life, Alexander Burke of Manhasset, NY. After teaching elementary school for a time, Sue married Al on June 25, 1955 and embarked on her true vocation.
Between 1956 and 1970, Sue and Al had eight children -- James, Brian, Chris, Mary Theresa, Nancy, Thomas, Matthew and A.J. -- and lived in many communities across the country: Flushing, Houston (TX), Lincoln (NE), Westbury, Webster Groves (MO), and Manhasset. Raising her children, and later caring for her grandchildren, was Sue's everything -- and in herself she gave them an exemplar of loving service to God, family and neighbor.
Sue is remembered for her warmth, generosity and excellent cooking skills (nobody beats Grandma’s meatballs). She made every family dinner special and there was always an extra spot at her table. Over many years, Sue and Al invited their children and grandchildren to vacation in Hampton Bays -- only she never once made it to the beach herself she was so busy taking care of everyone else. She opened her own home on Ryder Road to so many other members of the family -- Grandpa Joe, Pop, Happy, Jane, Tiffany, Brendan, Chris Jr., and Nan and her family. She also hit the road to care for her grandchildren John, Brian, Thomas, George and Regan when their families were in need.
A committed parishioner of St. Mary's, Sue was an active volunteer at St. Mary’s Elementary School, the Rosary Society, the Respect Life Committee and the eucharistic ministry to St. Francis Hospital. Being a mother and grandmother was her greatest joy, but she also enjoyed rooting for the NY Mets and watching Blue Bloods.
Sue is survived by her children James (Sheila), Brian (Linda), Chris (Donna), Nan (George), Matt (Catherine), A.J. (Jenn) and her daughter-in-law, Julie; by her 19 grandchildren, Brendan, Mary, Rosalie, Regan, Chris, Charlotte, Tess, Jack, Will, Emma, Joe, Charlie, John, Brian, Thomas, George, Caroline, Mackie and Elle; by her great-grandchild, Angus; and by her sisters Candy (David) and Geri (Lee) and many nieces and nephews. Sue was predeceased by her father, Joseph, her mother, Dorothy, her loving husband of 63 years, Alexander, her sister Jane, her brothers Joe and Happy, her infant daughter Mary Theresa, and her beloved son Tom.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund or the Schools of St. Mary are appreciated.
Inner-City Scholarship Fund, 1011 First Ave., 14th Floor, New York, NY, 10022 (https://www.innercityscholarshipfund.org)
The Schools of Saint Mary Annual Fund, 1340 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset, NY 11030 (https://stmary11030.org/giving-1)