Michael Joseph Burke, 78, of Holyoke Massachusetts passed away on December 24, 2019. Born on December 22, 1941 in Haverhill, MA to Edmund J and Geraldine T (FitzGerald) Burke, Mike grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts and fell in love with the newspaper business as a child as a paperboy. He would later become a reporter as he attended Merrimack College in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. He worked for the Haverhill Gazette, made his way to Newburyport working for Newburyport News, then became an editor and writer at the Hartford Times. In 1966, Mike made a decision that would introduce him to his next two loves. He took a job as the city editor at the Holyoke Transcript & Telegram where he fell in love with the city and met his wife Luane. Mike would go on to become a Holyoke institution. To many, he was a writer, storyteller and historian. Mike was also an active volunteer in many of Holyoke’s civic institutions but is probably best known for his work at the Holyoke Boys Club and as chairman of the Golden Gloves tournaments for over 20 years. Mike received many awards and accolades for his efforts, among these the Holyoke St Patrick’s Day Parade Citizenship Award in 2005. Mike also worked at Providence Hospital and at the Springfield Republican. Many of us looked forward to his weekly column where he would share about Holyoke, its residents, his upbringing, his family, or his observations from the world of sports. Mike is survived by his son, Michael JF and his wife Karen of Easthampton, MA. Mike is also survived by his pride and joy - his grandchildren Eden and Liam Burke of Easthampton, MA, whom we are sure many of you have heard of their academic and athletic achievements as he was always quick to share about them. He is also survived by his friend and sister in law, Diane Burke of Newton New Hampshire, and his dear nieces Carrie Hayes and Erin Forcino, their husbands and many grand nieces and nephews in New Hampshire. Mike also leaves extended family and many dear and close friends in Holyoke. Mike was predeceased by his wife Luane (Scanlon) Burke, and his brothers Kevin Burke and Timothy Burke. Calling hours will be held on Thursday January 2nd from 4:00 -7:00 pm at the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. As Mike was fond of relating, many of us take a lot out of our communities, it is important to give back. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Friends of the Soldiers Home, Inc., P.O. Box 1338, Holyoke MA 01041.
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