Obituary of Alexander Burke
Alexander J. Burke passed away peacefully on July 8, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Al was born in Doctors’ Hospital, New York City, weighing in at 1 pound, 7 ounces -- one of the first incubator babies.
Al was a proud graduate of Regis High School, NYC, and College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. After a long and distinguished career in business, he earned his doctorate in Sacred Scripture from Fordham University.
Al and Sue, his wife of 63 years, raised seven children in Webster Groves, MO, and Manhasset, NY. After a three-year tour of duty in the Air Force, Al began a long career in publishing at the McGraw-Hill Book Company. He was the youngest-ever president of the book company and later served as the president of the International Division. He traveled extensively in this role, including a trip to the Vatican where he presented Pope John Paul II with his McGraw-Hill-published biography. After a successful tenure at McGraw-Hill, Al founded his own publishing company, Phoenix Learning Resources.
After several years at Phoenix, Al returned to his true passion -- teaching. He started the Publishing Studies program at Hofstra University, where he taught for 19 years. He also taught theology to seminarians and deacons at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Lloyd Harbor, NY. Al was a published author of several well-regarded works on St. John the Baptist and the Gospel of St. John.
As a committed parishioner of St. Mary’s-Manhasset, Al enjoyed contributing to his community by leading Lenten groups, teaching CCD, delivering lectures, and serving on the parish and school boards.
Al was an avid sports fan. He was a club champion tennis player until double knee replacements cut his career short. After his retirement from tennis, he loved watching his children and grandchildren, who excelled in athletic and artistic endeavors. His favorite team was the Boston Celtics… until they started to lose, at which point he adopted the Golden State Warriors.
On June 25, 1955, Al was united in marriage to Suzanne Gatti; they celebrated 63 years of marriage together. Al was loved by his wife, Sue, their children, James (Sheila), Brian (Linda), Chris (Donna), Nan (George), Tom (Julie), Matt (Catherine), and AJ (Jenn), his 18 grandchildren, Brendan, Mary, Rosie, Regan, Chris, Charlotte, Tess, Jack, Will, Emma, Joe, Charlie, John, Brian, Thomas, George, Caroline, and Mackie, and his great-grandchild, Angus. Al was predeceased by his parents, Alexander and Josephine, his sister, Mary, and his infant child, Mary Theresa.
Visitation is from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, 2018, at Fairchild Funeral Chapel, 1570 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, NY. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 13, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1300 Northern Blvd., Manhasset. Interment at St. Charles Cemetery, 2015 Wellwood Ave., Farmingdale, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, 1011 First Ave., 14th Floor, New York, NY, 10022 (innercityscholarshipfund.org) are appreciated.