Cover photo for Daniel Burke II's Obituary
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Daniel Burke II

December 18, 1938 — February 24, 2024

Chagrin Falls

Daniel Burke II

Daniel Burke ll born in New York, New York on December 18, 1938, and died in Cleveland, Ohio on February 24, 2024. He is survived by his beloved wife, Pamela de Windt Burke and his children Deborah Errath (Tom), Jeffrey Burke (Kirby), Daniel Burke lll (Aimee) and stepdaughters Heather Von Seggern, Megan Berg, Betsy Wright. He is the loving grandfather of Thomas (Naomi), William and Allison Errath, Fischer and Kaitlin Burke, Jane, Sally and Edie Burke and step grandchildren Eliza Bernstein, Tyler and Kylie Wright and great grandchild Tommy Bernstein. He was predeceased by his parents Mary and Coleman Burke and his brother Coleman P. Burke (Susan). He is survived by his sister Mary (Missy) Patridge (David). He is also survived by his first wife Susan Hoopes. 


Dan grew up skating on the ponds and playing in the woods of Summit and then Short Hills, New Jersey. There he honed his entrepreneurial and improvisational skills. He was educated at Pingry, Choate ‘57 and Hamilton College ‘61 where he joined the Chi Psi Lodge, embraced student leadership and captained the hockey team. Hamilton hockey was a highlight especially his junior year when he skated with his younger brother, Coley. He was a member of the Kirtland Country Club, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and the Bluestone Golf Club.


Post college, Dan joined the Army and then worked for Lincoln Electric which brought him to Cleveland, OH. There, he started two companies that focused on repairing heavy industry electric motors: B&P and then Burke Electric. He loved his employees and was always concerned about their health and livelihood.


He spoke conversational French, and loved listening to and playing music, golf, innovative technologies from CB radios to Speech to Text systems and learning about any and everything that could improve his, his family’s or friends’ lives. He was known to casually hand out books that he thought may help you. Memory was a constant focus due to his trials in the classroom and his belief anyone could learn to remember anything if you just made it ridiculous.


But those were his hobbies, and his real joy was anything involving his family place in Oxford, NY. Oxford was his sanctuary where he delighted in fixing and tinkering with anything mechanical, which he did with a can-do spirit. As a young boy and under the guidance of their gardener, Angelo Pena, he first learned gardening and small engine repair only to graduate to tractors, bulldozers and excavators under Rucker Brothers Demolition. Prior to getting his driver’s license he notoriously terrorized the Village by driving his self-designed “Little Car” and “Doodle Bug” all built from discarded auto and farm parts. His last and most recent project was an all-electric rail car, which was promptly impounded by the police after its maiden voyage with his 95-year-old mother serving as his co-engineer.   The officer in charge released them both on their own recognizance but not after a warning.


He shared his love for golf, hockey and the town of Oxford, NY with his children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews, who affectionately called him Amps. He was a world class spectator at all youth sports and a caddie who ignored all rules regarding underage golf-cart driving. A late afternoon nine at Bluestone followed by a Hoppies’ ice cream was a rite of passage for all. Whatever the family activity, he always answered the bell with enthusiasm and a smile even as his health deteriorated. They adored him, and he them.


Dan was a special man with many talents and experiences who had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Always looking for a connection, he would strike up a conversation to learn more about a subject and travel great distances to reach a source. He used his knowledge to help others and especially those that were struggling with life’s challenges. Dan never hesitated to help a friend or family member. His daily goal was to say or do something to make someone’s life brighter. He was selfless and you only gained insight of the man from his storytelling.


Dan could entertain his family for hours with stories about growing up in New Jersey and summering in Upstate New York. The cast of friends and characters, who appeared not to be believed, always seemed to get into just the right amount of trouble. He was the bass lead in family-sing-a-longs, though his falsetto was spot on, and had an uncanny ability to make up lyrics on the fly that only a trained ear could hear.


We all miss him. 


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hamilton College Hockey or Oxford Academy Blackhawk Fund in Oxford, NY. A celebration of Dan’s life will be held on Saturday, August 17th at 2 PM at St. Paul's Church in Oxford, NY with a reception to follow at the Burke's house.



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