MILBRIDGE - Iona S. (Burgess) Burke, age 90, passed away July 12, 2014, surrounded by family. She was born July 31, 1923, in Milbridge, the daughter of Charles and Jennie (Strout) Burgess.
Iona began working at the L. Ray Packing Company in Milbridge when she was 16 years old, and continued packing sardines until retiring at age 72. She also worked very hard raking blueberries and making balsam wreaths. She enjoyed flounder and trout fishing, playing Beano, spending time and traveling with her family. Last year she was the proud recipient of the Boston Cane, for being the oldest resident in Milbridge, where she lived the majority of her life. She was a member of the Milbridge Auxiliary. She will be remembered for the dances she attended with Charlie. They sure did love to dance.
She was predeceased by her husband of 62 years, Charles L. Burke; sisters: Eleanor Matthews, Nancy Moores, Donna Joyce, Lorna Burgess, and Venelva Ray; brothers, Bobby, Keith, Charles and Leigh Burgess; and granddaughters, Michelle Rolfe and Kathy Doughty. She is survived by five sisters, Maxine Carter, Peggy Freeman and Lottie Burgess, all of Milbridge, Vicki Batson of Addison and Roberta Weninger of Conway, South Carolina; four children, Sheila Rolfe and husband, Frank, of Brunswick, Raymond Burke and wife, Beth, of Milbridge, Louise Burke of Damariscotta and Marie Smith and Gail Myshrall of Harrington; 14 grandchildren, Frank Jr. and wife, Diana, Kenneth Rolfe and wife, Zada, Shawn Rolfe, Jonathan Rolfe, and wife, Helen, Mark Burke and wife, Linda, Brett Burke, Chris Burke and wife, Julie, Casey Burke and companion Beverly Jo, Charles Burke and companion, Holly, Shain Rau and companion, Cecilia, Matthew Rau, Amanda (Rau) Ely and husband, Damon, Joshua Smith and wife, Annie, and Erin Smith; 20 great-grandchildren, Dan, Gracie, Maggie, Frank III, Kyra, Zachery and Jared Rolfe, Joey and Tyler Rennicks, Kristen, Brittany, Cassidy, Patrick, Christopher, Wyatt and Braydon Burke, Courtney Doughty, Waide and Alice Ely; and special great-granddaughter, Kayleigh Rolfe, for all her help in caring for her "Grammie Goose."
The family would like to thank the staff of Narraguagus Bay Health Care Facility for their care and support, and a very sincere thank you to Delly McLain, who could get Iona to do just about anything. Also thank you to the staff of Downeast Hospice Care.
Funeral arrangements by Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home. Visiting Hours will be Thursday, July 17, from 12:00 until the time of the service at 2:00 at Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Milbridge Chapel, 47 Main Street, Milbridge, officiated by her grandson, Priest Chris Burke of Addison, and her grandson, Joshua Smith of Freeport. Gifts in Iona's name may be sent to Narraguagus Bay's Activity Fund, care of Stephanie Norton, 3 Main Street, Milbridge, ME 04658.