James N. Burke, of Temple, TX, formerly of Austin, passed peacefully from this life on Monday, May 13 at the age of 85. He was the second of five children born to Norman K. and Frances A. Woodruff Burke.
Jim grew up in the heart of “old Austin” where he attended Matthews Elementary, University Junior High School, and Austin High School when it was located on Rio Grande Avenue. Throughout his life he retained fond memories of a simpler Austin where he and his older brother, Bob, roamed the fields and fished the creeks near the family home. Following high school graduation in 1952, he joined the Navy, serving first aboard the USS Mellette and later aboard the flagship, the USS Chilton in the Mediterranean where he was a radio operator with Transport Division 21. After his military service he worked for lBM, The American Desk Company, and finally Scott and White Hospital in Temple. He was employed by Scott and White for 30 years where he had the opportunity to earn certification as a clinical perfusionist in the field of cardiac surgery. He was admitted as a Fellow to the American Society of Extra-Corporeal Circulation in 1974. He served as Chief of Perfusion Technology, a position to which he was totally dedicated and performed with excellence until his retirement in 1996. At the time of his retirement he was honored for his years of service and as the founder of perfusion technology at Scott and White.
Jim’s parents, his older brother Robert L. (Bob) Burke, Bob’s wife Barbara, and his nephew Charles Allen Kowalczyk precede him in death. He is survived by his sister Ganell Kowalczyk and her husband Carl, and his sister June Burke all of Austin; his brother Joe Burke and wife Diane of Falls City, TX; five nephews and one niece; five grandnieces and four grand nephews; and two great-grand nieces and nephews. Jim is also survived by longtime caring friends Connie Burke Timko and her husband George of Georgetown, TX and Alexine Burke of Robinson, TX.
The family wishes to express their warmest thanks to the doctors and staff at Scott and White for all they have done for Jim over the years, especially in the last few days, and to the staff at Meridian of Temple and the wonderful ladies who have cared for him daily with patience and devotion for the last two years.
Visitation will be at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar from 10:00-11:30 am on Saturday, May 18 followed by services at 11:30 with the Reverend Joe Burke officiating. ln lieu of flowers, the family would be honored by a contribution to your favorite charity in Jim’s memory.