JoAnn Murphy Burke obituary photo
 
In Memory of

JoAnn Murphy Burke

August 30, 1934 - November 27, 2016

Obituary


On the evening of November 27th, 2016, JoAnn Margaret Burke slipped peacefully from this world and into the hands of our Lord after succumbing to complications of heart surgery. Born JoAnn Margaret Murphy on August 30th, 1934 to Dr. William J. and Roxene M. Murphy in Madison, Wisconsin, JoAnn lived her formative years in Decatur, GA where she sang in the choir at Sacred Heart Catholic High School. She attended Berry College before transferring to Auburn University, where she majored in Art and was a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. Upon returning to...

On the evening of November 27th, 2016, JoAnn Margaret Burke slipped peacefully from this world and into the hands of our Lord after succumbing to complications of heart surgery. Born JoAnn Margaret Murphy on August 30th, 1934 to Dr. William J. and Roxene M. Murphy in Madison, Wisconsin, JoAnn lived her formative years in Decatur, GA where she sang in the choir at Sacred Heart Catholic High School. She attended Berry College before transferring to Auburn University, where she majored in Art and was a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. Upon returning to the Atlanta area, she became a draftsman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, and continued to indulge her love of singing in the choir. One love led to another, and JoAnn was introduced to her future husband, Joseph Alan Burke by his sister while singing in the St. Thomas Moore choir. Their marriage in 1959 rewarded them with five children, Kathleen Marie Suits of Grants Pass, Oregon, William Patrick Burke of Snellville, Georgia, Tracey Alane Craft of Alpharetta, Georgia, David Matthew Burke of Hoschton, Georgia, and Margaret Devlin Burke of Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to her children, JoAnn is survived by thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

JoAnn prided herself on her family and doted on her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren whenever she could. Her sense of humor was infectious, and her personality was so warm and inviting it was disarming. Her home was always open to friends and relatives alike, and she made special sure that there was always enough food on hand to feed a small army, “just in case”. She was magnanimous and appreciative of her coworkers, and would often spend time in casual conversation talking about people she worked with as if they were just another part of the family she was so fond of. JoAnn had an especially soft spot for animals and the environment, and was an active proponent for both by way of charitable giving. She was well known for her incredible generosity, and was an avid supporter of the American Humane Society, Save the Redwoods, Wildlife Images, Saint Benedict Abby, Sacred Hearts Monastery, and the Saint Lawrence Seminary and a longtime member of Holy Cross Catholic Church. She was also a board member and corporate secretary for Atlanta Industrial Equipment (A.I.E. Company, Inc.), the company she started with her husband which continues to be operated by her two sons.

Preceded in death by her husband, JoAnn continued her role as matriarch of the family until health issues began to take their toll. With several knee and hip replacement surgeries, she was affectionately referred to by family as the “bionic woman”. Unexpectedly facing open-heart surgery, JoAnn’s will didn’t falter and, with family and friends nearby around the clock, she bravely fought to recover from the complications that arose from it. Sadly, this challenge was just too much weight for her body to bear. With her daughter by her side, JoAnn left to be reunited with her husband who had patiently waited for her for the last eighteen years, and to the peace she deserved for a life well-lived. She is deeply loved, and will be dearly missed. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, December 3 at 2 o'clock at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 2855 Briarcliff Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30329. Entombment to follow the service at Arlington Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Friday, December 2 from 6 until 8 o'clock with a Rosary service at 8 o'clock at H.M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill Chapel, 1020 Spring Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309.