Lawson Brian Burke, Jr. passed away peacefully on December 31, 2021, surrounded by his loving family after a valiant battle with cancer.
Brian was born in Schenectady, NY, on October 11, 1938, the son of Lawson Brian Burke, Sr. and Apollonia Burke, and was the big brother to sisters, Barbara and Sharon. He graduated from Holyoke High School in Massachusetts, where he was a member of the football and golf teams and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He earned a BSME from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1960 and an MBA from Widener University in 1973. He served in the US Army Reserves.
He met the love of his life, Maria (Hydock), while skiing, and they were married on September 26, 1965. He was the proud father of three children, Kristin, Tamara and Lawson III. His career was in manufacturing and production management, twenty years of which were with General Electric in Philadelphia, subsequently with Gilbert & Bennett in Georgetown, CT, and Controllex in Croton Falls, NY. In the later stages of his working career, he owned and operated seven franchised hair salons in central Connecticut.
His working career brought his family to Newtown, CT, where they spent 27 happy years, and formed many dear, lifelong friends. Brian was very involved with his church, St. Rose of Lima, Winterset Ski Club and Rock Ridge Country Club, where he served as club president and claimed eight golf club championships. In 2004, Brian and Maria retired to the Eastman community in Grantham, NH, where they became active members of the St. Patrick/St. Joachim Church. Following suit to their Newtown lifestyle, Brian became involved in numerous golf, ski, and community activities, and again developed many deep, long lasting friendships.
He is predeceased by his son, Lawson Brian Burke, III, and is survived by Maria, his wife of 56 years, daughter, Kristin and husband, Philip Hynes, of Shelton, CT; daughter, Tamara and husband, Joseph Devine, of Marlborough, CT. He has seven grandchildren, Philip V (Quint), Anna and Katherine Hynes; Christopher, Dylan, Braeden and Calvin Devine, who affectionately called their grandfather “Grumpy”. He is also survived by two sisters, Barbara Ross and Sharon Shea, and many nieces and nephews.
Brian was deeply devoted to his family, friends, and his Catholic faith, had an infectious enthusiasm for life, and was loved by all who had the good fortune of knowing him. His passion for life, golf, and skiing endured until the end, as well as a love for all things Irish, especially The Clancy Brothers’ music. Brian would say he never met a golf course or ski mountain that he didn’t love, and in his golden years, he enjoyed 15 years as a ski instructor at Mt. Sunapee.
His family is eternally grateful for the loving care provided by Bayada Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Hospice or to your favorite charity. Calling hours will be held at Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home, Newport, NH on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 4-6 pm. In Newtown, CT, calling hours will be at Honan Funeral Home on Friday, January 14, 2022 from 4-6 pm, with a funeral mass at St. Rose of Lima Church the following day at 11 am.