Mary Josephine Burke

Obituary of Mary Josephine Burke

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It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of our Mom, Mary Josephine Burke (Matthews), 89, of Grand Anse who left this world October 17th, 2020 while at her son Martin’s home, with family by her side. Mom was born on March 29, 1931 to Clarice “Jean” Smith, Halifax and Herbert Murray, Point Tupper and raised by Florence Almena “Meda” and Danny Sampson of Louisdale. She completed a Grade 10 High School education before starting her family and becoming the wonderful mother, grand-mother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother that she was. Mom had three children through her 1st marriage (to Louis Burke), before falling in love with her life-long partner Thomas J. Matthews. They started their family together in Grand Anse, moved to “Agies” on “the farm” and then back to Grand Anse to the ‘homestead’ where they together raised all 16 children to adulthood. Her children went on to fill her home with many grandchildren who she adored and loved to have around. Mom lived a humble lifestyle and her heart was warm and kind. She never had an ill-word to say of anyone and her compassion and unconditional love for her family was strong and always her main focus. She didn’t care who you were, where you were from, or what your past was; she would unjudgementally welcome you into her home with open arms and an open fridge. As she would say “what’s one more potato in the pot?” Up until her later years, Mom enjoyed going to Bingo, chatting in French with friends on the phone or sitting at her kitchen table with a deck of cards nearby and the tea pot on. You would always be sure to find a loaf of her homemade bread or her white cake with chocolate sauce on the counter fresh from the oven - ready for whoever stopped in to visit. In her later year’s mom enjoyed playing TV Bingo from home, her scratch and pull tickets, and although she was not in her family homestead, she was still ‘home’ in Grand Anse where she wanted to be. Being known by many as “the Philadelphia/Grand Anse Lawyer” she could be found preparing family income taxes, being the go-to person for advice, or even telling you how to make a favourite family meal. Mom was the matriarch of her family and her strength and calmness throughout her life will never be forgotten. She will be missed dearly by all. Mom was predeceased by her husband Thomas “Tommy” Joseph Matthews; her sons Gerard Burke, Jerome Burke, Donald Matthews; her daughter Edna Matthews; grandsons Stuart Burke and Joseph “Cory” Burke; as well as numerous siblings. She is survived by her children: Frederick “Vince” Burke (Marion), Ontario; Terry (Sharon), Halifax; Dougald, Grand Anse; Deborah “Debbie” Phillips (James), Kempt Road; Thomas “Tommy”, River Bourgeois; Hubert (Harriet), West Bay; Clarissa (Bernard LeRue), River Bourgeois; Sheila, Grand Anse; Lawrence, Grand Anse; Martin (Paulette), Grand Anse; Audrey MacRae (Daniel), Dundee; Colleen Matthews, Grand Anse; 32 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren; brother, Wilfred (Norma) Smith, Halifax; sisters Marie (Harold) Samson, Petit de Grat; and Cecile (Bernard) Sampson, Little Dover; daughter-in-law Eileen, Roberta; brothers and sisters-in-law, James (Jeanette), Sander (Rose Mary), Eddie, Carl (Rose), Edna, Suzanne (Valma), Jean Marie, Anne Marie, Delores and Pauline; several nieces and nephews. We would like to thank Dr. Michele Murphy, Dr. Laurie MacNeil, all Emergency Room Physicians, Nurses and staff, EHS Staff. Continuing Care Nursing, Home Care (VON), also to Paulette, Martin and Victoria for the wonderful care they provided for mom, and to all of those that helped and supported mom to return ‘home’ to Grand Anse where she was happy and longed to be for her final years. Family would also like to extend a special thank you to C.H. Boudreau Funeral Home Staff for their compassionate care of mom. Your thoughtfulness will never be forgotten. Mom will rest at River Bourgeois Community Visitation Parlour, Wednesday, October 21, from 2-8pm (Please be advised that due to Covid-19, we must adhere to Social Distancing and Covid-19 Restrictions). A family graveside burial to follow in Black River United Church Cemetery Sunday October 25th, 2020 at 2 pm, with Lay Minister Gail MacKay Officiating. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to C.H. Boudreau Funeral Home Ltd., Arichat. To send words of comfort to the family or to light a candle in memory of Mary, please visit


2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
River Bourgeois Community Visitation Parlour
Hwy 4
River Bourgeois, Nova Scotia, Canada

Graveside Service

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Black River United Church Cemetery
Black River Road
Dundee, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Mary Josephine Burke

In Loving Memory

Mary Josephine Burke

1931 - 2020

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