Lieutenant Colonel Walter J. Burke Jr. of Woburn, retired from the US Air Force, died June 9 at the age of 89. He leaves a brother in Buzzards Bay.
He was the widower of Helen (Coward) Burke.
A graduate of Boston College, he also had a master’s degree from University of Massachusetts Boston.
Lt. Col. Burke served for 23 years in the USAF with service in Korea and Vietnam. He was the long-term command pilot for the Electronic Systems Command at Hanscom Air Force Base, and also was Hanscom Public Affairs and Safety Officer and USAF liaison for the New England Civil Air Patrol.
A former resident of Lincoln, he was active in community affairs there as well as in Concord and Lexington, and co-host of many Monument Square Association gatherings at the Colonial Inn.
He was a frequent visitor to many patients at Emerson Hospital, bringing humor, good wishes, and pizzas to the Emerson staff and volunteers as well. He was known as a legendary joke teller and kept his comedy routines rated G for more than 60 years.
He leaves his daughter, Marie A. Mitchum of Astoria, Oregon; his younger brother, J. Kevin Burke of Buzzards Bay; his companion of more than 20 years, Elizabeth Basile; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by two brothers.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Tuesday, June 18, at Holy Family Parish at Monument Square in Concord Center.
Interment was at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.