Lifelong Piceance Creek resident Dale Burke passed away Sunday Jan. 11, 2015, at Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker, Colo.
Dale was the 13th of 15 children born to Fred and Annie Burke, right behind his twin brother, Dean. Dean always teased, “I had to show him the way out or he would never have made it.” Dale responded by saying, “If I hadn’t given you a push, you’d still be there.”
Dale attended the Burke rural schoolhouse, located one mile from the ranch where he continued his schooling through the eighth grade. He jokingly would say, “I’d probably still be there if dad hadn’t bought the darned thing!”
As a young man, Dale worked as a cowboy for the Square S Cattle Co. until being drafted into the U.S. Army in June of 1954. He spent two years (or as he would say, “one year, eleven months, and 14 days”) in the military, serving primarily in France alongside his brother, Dean, as a 42nd Field Hospital cook.
After an honorable discharge in 1956, he returned home to Piceance Creek to work with his brothers on the family ranch, where he remained for the rest of his life. Dale was a true cowboy and horseman.
His brothers would tell tale of Dale riding some pretty rough broncs in his time. In his younger years, he enjoyed going to rodeos and team roping. He was a man who loved a good time with great friends.
In October 1973, Dale married Diane Lawrence. From this union, one daughter was born, Susie Marie Burke. Dale also helped to raise a stepson and stepdaughter, Robert and Lynn Lawrence. After divorcing, he continued to raise Susie on his own.
Dale was preceded in death by: his father and mother; five brothers: Jim, Dick, Tom, Casey and Freddie; and five sisters, Mary, Anna, Winnie, Claire and Nancy.
He is survived by: his daughter, Susan (Matt) Louthan; granddaughters Leslie and Haley of Wheatland, Wyo.; stepson and stepdaughter, Robert and Lynn Lawrence; his twin brother, Dean; sister Nettie; his brothers, Lex and Pat; in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.
Dale’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at Pioneers Medical Center and the Walbridge Wing for helping with Dale’s care throughout the years.
A memory of life service will be held Sunday Jan. 25, 2015, at 11 a.m. at the Extension Service Building at the fairgrounds in Meeker, Colo. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Walbridge Wing.