Patricia A. Burke

Patricia Anne Burke, 91, of Falmouth died on July 14.

Ms. Burke was born in Denver, the youngest child of Harry and Aida (Chase) Gooch. She attended and graduated high school in Framingham.

She went to college with hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher, but instead turned to secretarial work to contribute to the family income.

At a USO dance at Camp Framingham, she met Private Joseph A. Halderman of Renovo, Pennsylvania, and they fell in love on the dance floor. They were married in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Framingham in 1946. Soon afterward, they settled in Falmouth permanently.

Mr. Halderman died in 1969. After his death, she married William L. Burke. Mr. Burke died in 1991.

Ms. Burke was a secretary at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Falmouth, at law offices in Falmouth, and at the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, from which she later retired. She maintained her secretarial skills throughout her life and prided herself on being meticulously organized.

She volunteered at Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Conservatory. She also was an officer of the AmVets Ladies Auxiliary, the National Association of Legal Secretaries, and the Emblem Club, and was president of the Falmouth VFW Post 2569 Ladies Auxiliary.

She was a devoted member of St. Barnabas Church in Falmouth, where she taught Sunday school for many years and sang in the choir for decades.

A lyric soprano, Ms. Burke studied and taught voice lessons and performed in recitals, singing arias from operas in French, Italian, and German as well as English. She was a charter member of the Interfaith Choir and enjoyed giving informal concerts with others at Falmouth nursing homes and other local venues.

Ms. Burke also enjoyed visiting her daughter and grandson in New York City, where she enjoyed sightseeing and attending performances of the ballet, opera, and Broadway musicals.

Ms. Burke was a charter member of People for Cats, and a weekly newspaper columnist for the organization for many years. She was known to take in stray cats.

She also loved dogs. In her later years, she could be seen walking Tonto, Lucky Dog, Bella and others through the streets of Falmouth Heights.

In 2011, Ms. Burke moved to Dillingham Place, a retirement community in Falmouth.

She was a prolific correspondent and kept up with friends from around the country as well as in France, Poland and Northern Ireland. She also enjoyed  holidays, decorating and gift-giving.

Ms. Burke leaves her daughter, Lauri Halderman and her husband, Adrian Corry, and her grandson, Riley Pearsall, all of New York City. She also leaves her nephew, Robert Gooch of Ashland.

In addition to her two husbands she was predeceased by her companion, Delroy Dutra, in 2012; and her brother, Thomas Gooch, in 1991.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, July 18, from 4 to 6 PM at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth.

A funeral will be held on Saturday, July 19, at 10:30 AM at St. Barnabas Church, 91 West Main Street, Falmouth,

Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Falmouth.


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