Hasta Banana by William R. Burke

Bill Burke with his first two grandchildren, Leighann and Adam.

Bill Burke with his first two grandchildren, Leighann and Adam.

Bill Burke died on September 11, 2011 at the age of 91.  It is a date that most of us will never forget.  It was  also the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Bill was a proud veteran of World War II, and a member of the American Legion for over fifty years.  He was known for his wit and sense of humor that he has passed down to several of his descendents.  One that stands out is his granddaughter, LeighAnne Schwartz.  We can always count on her for her most appropriate poetry.  I recently found the poem she wrote in honor of Bill that she shared with all of us at his funeral and I want to share it again.

We gather to reminisce and reflect on what an amazing person heaven welcomes today.

William Burke was a man of many qualities and we pay tribute to him on this day.

His many years of military service showed his selflessness that could be observed by others,

Asking him to share his Krispy Kreme donuts was another story and he even said no to his mother.

Multi-tasking was another favorite talent that Bill mastered like a pro,

He could listen to the police scanner, watch cops, rest his eyes and ignore Lois with his hearing aid turned on low.

Patience is a virtue, but Bill soon learned it was a necessity after fishing trips with his wife.

It is hard not to get upset after her pole ended up in the water or in a tree requiring the use of a knife.

Keeping all your children straight was no easy task to tame,

Pat, Mike, Denny ….damn it Tim, I can’t blame him because you all look the same.

He flourished at numerous jobs during his lifetime career

His greatest endeavor was working as a parking attendant or as he fondly called it an asphalt engineer.

William Burke was a loving husband, father, grandpa and friend,

I know he is watching down on us with a beaming smile grinning from end to end.

I would like to close with three phrases that should remind you of classic Bill Burke,

Grassy-ass, Hasta Banana and don’t let your meat…loaf.

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