Date of BirthSeptember 13, 1943

Thomas Burke Obituary

Date of BirthSeptember 13, 1943

53 Views

Date of PassingNovember 01, 2016

Thomas Burke Obituary

from Elizabeth, Ohio, United States

Date of BirthSeptember 13, 1943

Thomas Burke Obituary

Date of BirthSeptember 13, 1943

53 Views

Date of PassingNovember 01, 2016

Thomas Burke Obituary

from Elizabeth, Ohio, United States


Thomas F. Burke, Jr.CHILLICOTHE: Thomas F. Burke Jr.,73, an iconic figure of downtown Chillicothe and owner of the Crosskeys Tavern since 1973, died Tuesday morning after a gallant fight against cancer.He promoted the downtown business district at every opportunity and supported his fellow downtown businessmen and women. He had been a guiding light in the Chillicothe Civic Theater and starred -- along with Alan Gough -- in its 1985 production of "Inherit the Wind," which was unique in that it was presented in the second-floor courtroom of the Ross County Courthouse. His father-in-law, Jim Hammond, referred to him as "Chillicothe's own Mark Twain" and in a way it was true because Burke in his earlier years dressed as Twain and impersonated the author for the education and entertainment of area audiences.Tom's last visit to the tavern he loved so well was Sept. 15th in a wheelchair to listen to the Goosetown Astonishers, the Dixieland band he promoted since the beginnings of the Crosskeys. After learning to play the clarinet in his 40's, he became a member and eventual leader of the band.At the end of his last visit, the band played "When the Saints Go Marching In" and Tom Burke left the bar for the last time with the applause of a standing ovation ringing in his ears and some tears in his eyes.Tom was a 1961 graduate of the former Catholic Central High School and also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He served as a captain during a stint in the U.S. Air Force before returning to Chillicothe in the early 1970s. In the mid-1980s, he fought (unsuccessfully) against the closing of Bishop Flaget High School. Tom was born on September 13, 1943, to Thomas F. and Betty (Morrissey) Burke Sr., both of whom preceded him in death.He is survived by his wife Susan and her three children whom he considered his own: Katy River and her companion Mathew Hill of Chillicothe, Jon River and Alyson (Peter) Ziskowski of Columbus; his wife's parents, Carolyn and Jim Hammond, became his surrogate parents and compassionately walked with him through the years -- most especially the months of his cancer treatments. Also surviving are: his sister, Jane and her husband, John Wyman of Cincinnati, nieces and nephews: Julia Elizabeth (Jim) McGonagle of Chagrin Falls, Elizabeth Ann (Tom) Strotman of Cincinnati, John Matthew Wyman and his companion Nancy McKinnon of Erlanger K., grand nephews and nieces Mick & Cara McGonagle and Bridget, Kelly and John Strotman.A Celebration of life for Tom Burke will be held at 10:00 a.m. October 15th, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church of Chillicothe, Oh followed by a private burial with family. After the burial, the family will join with friends for a wake at the Crosskeys Tavern.Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to the Bishop Flaget School, 570 Parsons Ave., Chillicothe, OH 45601; or the First Presbyterian Church-Organ Fund, 13 Mead Dr., Chillicothe, OH 45601. Arrangements are under the direction of Haller Funeral Home & Crematory. His online guestbook is available at www.HallerFuneralHome.com

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