PORTLAND - L. Morrill 'Bo' Burke, Jr., died Feb. 12, 2013 in Portland. He was born in Portland on September 13, 1925, the son of Lawrence M. Burke, Sr., and Esther W. Burke.
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A graduate of Deering High School, he enlisted in the Army, was briefly trained at Harvard, then joined the Corps of Engineers. After his tour of duty in Europe during WW II, he attended Bowdoin College on the GI bill. After a brief stint at Tufts medical school, he switched to literature, and received an MA from the University of Washington, and a PhD from Columbia University. After teaching briefly at the University of New Hampshire, he moved to Portland and taught at USM for over 30 years.
Aside from literature, he loved skiing, tennis, boating, films, and sharing these interests with his children. He also loved working with his hands, built numerous houses and cabins, and always seemed to have plans to build more.
He also loved Casco Bay. During his youth, he spent summers on Peaks Island, and later with his first wife purchased property on Long Island. Soon a cabin was built, much of it from found timbers and requisitioned lumber. He later built a winterized house on Long Island, and retired there. He was an active participant in Long Island's successful secession from Portland and in its town government. For several years, he led informal reading groups on Long Island for anyone interested.
He is survived by his sister, Jean Morris, his long-time partner, Kim Chase, his second wife, Polly Burke; and six children, John Burke of Long Island, Elizabeth Burke of Portland, Andrew Burke of Portland, Ore., William Burke of Portland, Seth Burke of Portland, Ore., and Allie Burke of Wolcott, Vt.; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by a sister, Priscilla Trueman, his second son, Charles Cameron Burke, and his first wife, Elizabeth Craddock Burke.
A memorial service will be held on Long Island in mid-summer. For more information, go to http://www.pannet.com/boburke.html. Arrangements entrusted to Conroy - Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. Condolences may be expressed at www.ctcrawford.com
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to:
Maine Public Broadcasting
323 Marginal Way
Portland, Maine 04101
L. Morrill 'Bo' Burke, Jr.
Conroy Tully Walker Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
172 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Feb. 19, 2013