Max Burke


(March 11, 2005)

Funeral services will be conducted Friday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at the Cowley LDS Chapel for Teddy Max Burke, who died Monday, March 6 surrounded by family and friends in Lovell, the town of his birth. He was 67.

Bishop R. Ray Peterson will officiate. Burial will be in the Lovell Cemetery. The viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell.

He was born to Rufus and Ella (Hoffman) Burke, on June 19, 1937, in Lovell. Born at a time when things were hard, he brought much joy to his family. Over the years, Max became well-known and highly thought of by all who knew him. He became accomplished in everything he did.

Max grew up and attended school in Lovell, graduating in 1955. He married Bernice Green on Sept. 1, 1956, then joined the Navy, serving his country for 25 years. During these years, Tammy, Lisa, and Danny were born. Max was a weather forecaster and flight briefer for most of his naval career, during which he served on three aircraft carriers and saw much of the world.

After his retirement from the Navy, Max married Ida May Young in Lake Tahoe, on Jan. 2, 1982. He returned to his roots in the Big Horn Basin, and he and Ida made their home in Cowley, where Max adopted Clay, one of Ida's biological sons. Later, in November, 1992, Max and Ida were sealed to each other for time and all eternity in the Denver Colorado Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Adding to the special moment, Max's brother, Noel, performed the sealing, and his two other brothers, Doug and Ron, served as official witnesses.

Along with the move to Cowley, Max found a renewed faith in God, and became an active member of the LDS Church. He served the Lord faithfully in various capacities, including High Councilor, Bishop, and Teacher.

Max's natural ability to get along with people allowed him to be successful in his continued employment, first as a business partner and salesperson with Townsend Agricultural Services, then finishing his working days as an insurance agent for Prudential Financial.

He worked hard, with Ida by his side, and won numerous achievement awards with The Prudential, including the prestigious "Leading Client Builder of the Year" award.

Though his work was generally rewarding, Max's real joy was in spending time with his eternal "honey," Ida. Whether at work, church or play, wherever one was seen, the other was rarely far off. It was like they were joined at the hip and their love seemed to grow stronger as they spent time more together. An avid golfer, bowler, and fisherman, if one ever wanted to find Max and "the dynamic duo," they generally had to look no further than the golf course, bowling center, or on the river. He excelled at and was especially accomplished as a bowler and golfer, winning numerous tournaments in both sports, even obtaining the ultimate in both sports: 300 games and holes-in-one.

Survivors include his widow, Ida; children Tammy of Denver, Lisa of Long Beach, Calif., Danny of Cowley and Clay of Denver; step-son and partner Brandon Wong and Jacki Gerber of Hanford, Calif.; and two beloved grandchildren, Brittnee Maddox, and Brandon Wong II. He is also survived by two brothers, a sister, and their spouses: Douglas and Rachel Burke, Noel and Marge Burke, and Viva and James Ellis; as well as in-laws Ellen Salvador, Mary Ann and James Gong, Barbara and Russell Gin, Liz and Paul O'Neil, Sue and Jim Waters, Cecil Young and Ray Young.

He was preceded in death by both parents and beloved brother, Ronald Rufus Burke.

He cherished relationships with people, especially those with his family. He will be deeply missed.