Peabody — William H. “Billy” Burke, Jr., 70, of Peabody, died early Friday afternoon at Salem Hospital with his family by his side, following a brief illness. He was the devoted husband of Sheila (Brown) Burke, with whom he shared over 40 years of marriage.
Born in Elizabeth, N.J., he was the son of the late William H. Burke, Jr. and Suzanne (Matthews) Burke. He was raised and educated in Peabody and was a graduate of Peabody High School, class of 1960. He continued on with his education at Newman Prep and at the School of Practical Art.
Billy was first employed as a machinist at the former United Shoe in Beverly and later he was employed for Gary Cole at +1 in Peabody and also started a 30-plus-year career as a firefighter for the City of Peabody, retiring in 2003.
Billy enjoyed the great outdoors — he was either hunting, fishing, boating or snowmobiling. His favorite pastime was watching his grandsons play sports. He also enjoyed playing sports, and while in high school, he played football and hockey. After high school, he continued playing football at the semi-pro level, as well as hockey and softball.
Besides his loving wife, he is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Tish Burke of Marblehead; his sister, Sheila Dionne and her husband, Donald, of Beverly; and by his loving grandchildren, Aidan, Tyler, and Collin Burke. He is also survived and loved by a large extended family of nieces, nephews and their children.
ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral service will be held on Monday at 10 a.m. at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Ann’s Church in Peabody to which relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 3 until 7 p.m. Burial will be in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Peabody. Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Salvation Army, 253 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906. For directions and on-line obituary, visit www.ccbfuneral.com.