Obituary: Elvina Fern Burke

Elvina Burke
Elvina Burke
Elvina Fern Burke was born to Stephen and Opal Woodard on Aug. 6, 1935, in Rifle, Colo., where she also grew up. She was the fifth of seven children.
After graduating from Rifle High School, she traveled with Bud and Dorothy Magor as a nanny, taking care of their two children. Fern fondly remembered this part of her life, and shared memories of it often with her own children.
A few years later, Fern met Shorty Proctor and they married. Two children, Tracy and Clinton, were born of this union.
After their marriage ended, Fern met Dean Burke. They united in marriage on Sept. 21, 1966. They enjoyed having picnics, going to dances at Rock School on Piceance Creek, traveling to rodeos and spending time with family and friends.
The couple lived on Piceance Creek on the Burke Ranch, where Fern and Dean raised five children: Tracy, Clinton, K.C., Jim and Carol.
Although her greatest love was her family, Fern loved to fish and hunt for arrowheads on warm, summer days. She also enjoyed baking and was well known by her family and friends for the delicious fried chicken, chocolate-covered cherries and homemade pies she made each Thanksgiving.
Easter was another memorable holiday as it required a trip to the grocery store to buy an enormous amount of shrimp to fry up for the family to enjoy. If anyone left her house hungry, it was their own fault.
Fern loved to play games including cards, and was especially good at Pac-Man on Atari. She also enjoyed and never passed up a chance to stop by the convenience store to buy a couple of scratch Lotto tickets to win big.
Fern had a special way of touching the lives of others. She especially had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren Shelby, Peyton, Kinzy, Kale, Pake and Makenna. Her children and grandchildren enjoyed coming in after feeding cows to get warm and have a bacon sandwich.
The Schwann’s man always knew his biggest stop would be at the Burke Ranch. There was always a popsicle in the freezer at Granny’s house for the grandkids. Fern should have bought stock in the Hershey company as she always made sure to fill gallon Ziplock bags for each of her grandchildren and other special kids on Piceance Creek for Halloween and Easter.
For the last few years of her life, Fern was well taken care of at the Walbridge Wing at Pioneers Hospital in Meeker. She spoke highly of the staff and the care she received at the Wing.
Fern was preceded in death by her parents, Stephen and Opal, and her sisters, Betty, Leola, Geraldine and Carol. Fern and Carol spent many memorable and special times together throughout her life, and Carol visited her daily at the Wing. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Tracy, and son-in-law Ray.
Surviving members of her family include: her husband of 47 years, Dean Burke; her children Clinton, K.C. (Heather), Jim (Stacey), and Carol (Mike); her grandchildren, Shelby, Peyton, Kinzy, Kale, Pake and Makenna as well as numerous nieces, nephews and their families.
A memorial service will take place at Meeker United Methodist Church on Monday Sept. 23, 2013, at 11 a.m. with a luncheon in Elbert Hall to follow. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Walbridge Wing nursing home in Meeker, Colo.