The Very Reverend Canon William A. Burke, Jr. D.D.

Very Rev. Canon William A. Burke, Jr., 79, Rector at St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Plainfield died Monday (August 18, 2008) at Overlook Hospital in Summit. Born in New York City, he lived in Scotch Plains before moving to Westfield in 1966.

The Rev. Burke attended St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary, was ordained in 1974 and served as Rector of St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Plainfield for 25 years before retiring in 2005. He was elevated to the office of Canon by Bishop John Walter Gaines, DE in 2007.

His career as a railroad signal tower operator began at the age of 19 on the B&O Railroad and ended when he retired from New Jersey Transit in 1991. He served in the US Army in 1953. A self-taught musician, he was substitute organist for many local churches throughout his life. A gifted photographer, his work was featured in countless books, and local newspapers for over 60 years. An avid motorcyclist, he penned the column "Sasquatch Sez" for the NJ ABATE Newsletter. He was a vital contributor to local historical societies, most recently providing input and narration for programs on Channel 35 in Fanwood.

He was predeceased by his wife, Marnie, who died in 1996. Surviving are his daughter, Maren Burke Sugarman and her husband, Paul; his brother, Richard Burke; two granddaughters, Kate and Marnie; and beloved cat, Bootsy.

A memorial service will be held at St. Stephen's Anglican Church (located at Crescent Ave. Presbyterian Church), 716 Watchung Ave., Plainfield, on Sunday August 31st, at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Stephen's Anglican Church or the Jersey Central Railway Historical Society. Arrangements are by Memorial Funeral Home in Fanwood. For additional information or to express condolences, please visit