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SACO -- Vera Burke passed away on Jan. 13, 2013, after a long illness.
She was born in Danzig, Poland on June 23, 1925. Her birth mother, Freda, died when she was just a year old. Her grandparents, August and Augusta Mikat, raised her into adulthood.
She entered nursing school in 1942 during WWII. Upon graduation, she was a field nurse for the German Red Cross caring for the casualties. She came to the U.S. with her husband, SSGT James Burke in February 1948 with their six-month-old son, Harald. She was a devoted mother to her three children, Harald, Loretta and Arnold.
She was truly a devoted grandmother of four. She had a very special bond with her closest granddaughters, Julie and Kristie, daughters of her very own daughter, Loretta. She always called them her creampuff and sugarpuff. They were equally devoted to their grandmother as her compassion and deep love inspired them even more. They will always remember the many shopping trips with their grandmother and always coming home with many bags.
For over 30 years Vera was a resident of Gardiner, as my Dad was employed at the VA in Togus. She was a nurse at Gardiner General Hospital, administrative nurse at Leighton's Nursing Home in Gardiner and also had private duty patients in the Gardiner area. Her huge flower garden display was just an example of her love of beauty.
My Mom and Dad returned to the Saco area in 1980 and retired to Cape Coral, Fla., in 1990. My mother spent many wonderful years reliving her German Heritage as a member of the German- American Social Club in Cape Coral, Fla. She was a very active volunteer in all of the club's functions, especially their annual Oktoberfest. She really treasured those years. For the past seven years she had resided with her daughter, Loretta and son-in-law, Paul Anderson.
She was predeceased by her husband, James, in 1992. She is survived her daughter, Loretta and son-in-law Paul Anderson of Saco, sons, Harald Burke and Arnold Burke of Ft. Myers, Fla. Her four grandchildren are Julie and husband Adam Lunn, Kristie and husband Jarrod Lilly of the Saco area, Eric Burke of Ft. Myers, Fla., and Lindsay Burke Northam and husband Christopher of Louisville, Ky.; and he great-grandchildren are Marissa Lunn of Saco, who will deeply miss her 'OMA,' and Isabelle, Samuel, Katherine and William Northam of Louisville, Ky. She was always there with special gifts for all their special days.
My mother truly left a legacy of a very inspirational lady with a very deep faith of God. She will be missed by all who had the opportunity to know such a beautiful lady. Any offer of condolence may be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Jan. 20, 2013