Sr. Mary Florence (Rosemary) Burke (93) died peacefully at Mount St. Joseph on March 19, 2021 in the company of her sisters. Her death was considered natural and came after a period of decline attributed to aging. She was born in Wheeling, WV on June 15, 1927. She was preceded in death by her parents, John J. and Agnes (Garrity) Burke, her brothers Wilbert and George Burke, her sisters Kathleen Arbogast and Margaret Reinbold and her nieces Virginia Susan Gallaway and Rosemary Robinson. She is survived by many nephews and nieces as well as grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
Sister Mary Florence Burke entered the Congregation of St. Joseph in Wheeling on September 8, 1945, having been taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph for twelve years. She served as teacher and principal in schools throughout the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston including Williamson, Weston, Charleston, Clarksburg and Wheeling. She worked as the librarian at Central Catholic High School in Wheeling for many years and was an active member of Cathedral parish. Sr. Mary Florence loved her students and the faculty, staff and parishioners with whom she served. She was a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Auxiliary, the Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary, CCHS/SJA Alumnae Association, CCHS School Advisory Council, and the National Catholic Educational Association. In 2020, Sr. Mary Florence celebrated 75 years as a Sister of St. Joseph.
Throughout her years of consecrated life, she says the joy of living in the house of the Lord, participating in daily Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist, the rosary, prayers, and other devotions have been a blessing. In Sr. Mary Florence’s own words, “Life has been replete with its unforgettable joys and tragedy. I have played a role in the lives of children for nearly seventy years, and I treasure the memories, the pictures, and the daily tidbits (thanks to modern technology) that keep me in touch with their lives and those of their offspring. My teaching career has enabled me to appreciate the diversity of religious beliefs and international cultures. “
Sr. Mary Florence was known for her quick smile and bright eyes. She had a great devotion to Our Lady and to St. Joseph, her patron. She was connected to family and friends with bonds of deep love. Even at age ninety-three Sr. Mary Florence was able to serve her local CSJ community through prayer and action. She stayed in touch with many alumnae of Central Catholic High School. She lived a full life and at the end of her life told sisters and staff that she was ready to meet her Lord.
Sr. Mary Florence’s funeral liturgy will be held at Cathedral Parish in Wheeling on March 24th at 10 am. Visitation will occur at the Cathedral from 9-10 am prior to the funeral. The funeral liturgy will be livestreamed via Tribu-Cast (click here). Graveside services will follow at Mt. Calvary cemetery. Following Covid safety guidelines, family and friends are invited to attend. Arrangements are provided by Altmeyer Funeral Home, Wheeling.
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Time: 10:00 am
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