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Family Remembers Henry Burke

By: WTAP News
By: WTAP News

UPDATE: 5/7/2012 5:10 PM

His love of history inspired others all throughout the valley.

"A proud man, an honest man. A man who no matter how much or how little he has is the same man," Burke's daughter, Kimberly M. Burke says.

That's how Henry Burke's family hopes he'll be remembered. The local historian died Saturday from a heart attack at the age of 72, leaving behind years of research and knowledge.

"At first it seemed to me like a hobby because he had to work and take care of his family but after he retired it became his full time mission in life to find out as much as he could and to pass that on to people," Kimberly remembers.

A love for teaching and serving others led him to serve our country as a staff sergeant in the Cold War. "Ir molded him and shaped him kinda into what he became," she says.

During an interview in January 2012, Henry Burke told a story of his time serving our country. "This one time I got involved in a civil rights case and my commander turned his head. He didn't want to notice. He said you weren't there...you weren't down there."

An Underground Railroad exhibit at the Belpre Historical Society is just one of many projects Burke accomplished in his life, but there's one lesson he made his mission to teach others.

"We've still got a long way to go in this country and I think people that don't believe in inequality ought to wake up," Burke said earlier this year.

A lesson that comes straight from his heart.

"His enthusiasm his heart his spirit was the first thing you saw about him. It didn't matter who you were," Kimberly says.

Calling hours are this Friday, May 11th from 12-1 at Leavitt Funeral Home in Belpre. Services will follow. Burke will be buried with military honors.

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Leavitt Funeral Home confirms that Henry Burke of Marietta passed away Saturday.

He's remembered in the valley as a historian with years of experience in uncovering the history or our area.

Burke's passion for Civil War history lead to the research and discovery of many local connections to the war.

He's also credited for his work in the underground railroad exhibit showcased at the Belpre Historical Society.

Services and cause of death have not been announced at this time but stay tuned to WTAP and WTAP.com for more information as it becomes available.


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