1946 - 2020
Obituary of Capt. Dr. Timothy Raymond Burke, Ph.D., USMM (retired):
Timothy R. Burke, 74, retired Roswell Park researcher and mariner
Timothy Raymond Burke, of East Aurora, N.Y., was born January 6, 1946 in Buffalo, N.Y. to the late Buffalo Evening News reporter and columnist Richard J. “Dick” Burke and Josephine (Battaglia), and died there November 5, 2020, after a long illness. He graduated from Sweet Home H.S., in Amherst, N.Y., in 1964. While a nursing student at Craig Colony School of Nursing in Sonyea, N.Y., he met his future wife Miss Beverly J. Mayer, of Attica, N.Y., whom he married in 1968.
Burke received his Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. He conducted cancer research in the Radiology Dept. at Roswell and in the Immunology Dept. of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Subsequently Dr. Burke left the medical field to follow his lifelong passion for diving and boating on Lake Erie.
A member of the Merchant Marine for many years, Dr. Burke founded Underwater Services, Inc., a salvage and marine service provider, and built two commercial marine vessels—the Adrian B. I and Adrian B. II – both named after his only son. In the early 1980s he became the Buffalo port representative and a captain for the Great Lakes Towing Co., providing towing services to commercial freighters in fresh and saltwater ports across the country. He published a children’s picture book about his experiences on Lake Erie titled, Tugboats in Action (Albert Whitman & Co., 1993).
With his wife he operated Sunny Slope Farm, a small horse stable on Porterville Road in East Aurora from 1991 until 2004 and retired in 1998.
An avid reader and canine enthusiast – Burke loved Jack London’s collected works, in particular White Fang, and at one time owned eight Siberian Huskies and drove a dog sledding team.
Dr. Burke is survived by his son, Adrian (Wilian) Moreira da Silva-Burke, Esq., of East Aurora and N.Y., N.Y., his ex-wife, Beverly J. Burke, of East Aurora, a brother, Daniel Burke, of Dallas, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the animal rescue charity, Pixie Mama’s Rescue www.pixiemamasrescue.com. For more information please call (585) 591-1212 or to leave a message of condolence visit www.marleyfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Marley Funeral Home, LLC, 135 Main Street, Attica, New York 14011.