James Day "Budgie" Burke

Posted: Tue 6:38 AM, Oct 01, 2013
Funeral Home: Day Home Funeral Home Chapel
May 23, 1935 - September 24, 2013

James Day Burke, 78, of Madisonville passed peacefully from this world September 24, 2013. A time for family to receive friends will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, September 27 at J M Day Funeral Home. Services will be at 10 am Saturday, September 28, at the Day Funeral Home Chapel with interment to immediately follow.

James Day "Budgie" Burke was born May 23, 1935 in Madisonville. The family moved to Normangee in 1945 where his father assumed the responsibilities of President and Chairman of the Board of the First National Bank Normangee. After graduation from Normangee High School in 1952, Budgie attended SMU and Sam Houston, and then graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He began his lifelong career as a Funeral Director at Sparkman Funeral Home Dallas. He soon returned to the family business, J M Day Funeral Home in Madisonville, continuing there until his retirement 42 years later. Budgie was a kind, compassionate soul providing comfort to many, many families in Madisonville and the surrounding areas.

Budgie was proud of his community and country serving in many ways through the years. He was a member and Past President of the Madisonville Lions Club, a member of the Madisonville City Council, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and a member of the First United Methodist Church to name a few. He was also a Specialist 5 in the National Guard and served active duty from 1957 until the end of the Berlin Crisis.

Budgie loved spending time with his family, both immediate and extended. One of his favorite places since childhood to share special moments was at his beloved Camp Creek. Over the years, he often could be found visiting with friends and family, feeding the deer, swimming, boating, or simply working a crossword puzzle on the porch.

Budgie was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas B and Marguerite Day Burke; and his brother, Thomas B Burke, Jr.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Nell Hope (Wakefield) Burke; his son, James D Burke Jr. and partner, Ron Whitlow of Bryan; his daughter, Elizabeth Hope and husband Steve Griffin of Houston; granddaughter, Catherine Hope and husband, David Balinski and their children, Griffin and Brody, all of Crosby.

Pallbearers will be Ron Whitlow, Steve Griffin, David Balinski, and nephews, Steve Hayes, Sid Boyd, and Tom Burke.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations may be made to First United Methodist Church Madisonville or the Madison County Museum.
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