Obituary of Terry Burke
Terry (Theresa Jacqueline) Burke was born on July 11, 1955 in Fort William, Ontario to Jacqueline and Joseph Burke. She grew up in North Western Ontario with four siblings: Wendy, Rhonda, Teddy and Tommy. Childhood was difficult for Terry, she was often separated from family and moving between many Children’s Aid Society foster homes. She often worked hard on the families’ farms. Her experiences left her with a lot of trauma.
As a young adult, she joined the army where she drove trucks, changed tires and hauled supplies. Some of her other jobs during these years included cooking for fire and mining camps and working as a resort maid and cook. When Terry was 21 her daughter Valerie was born, and Terry gave her into the care of her own mother to raise, believing Valerie deserved better than Terry could give her.
At age 29, Terry contracted cancer (lymphoma) and she endured a year of hospitalization and chemo treatments in Winnipeg that brought her close to death. As a child, she had made a pact with her brother that she would die at age 30, and so when she recovered she knew that this was God giving her a second chance at life. While in hospital, she was given a Bible and she heard about Jesus through a kind woman from Trinity Baptist Church who visited her and through the care she received from hospital staff. She gave her life to Jesus at 31 and was welcomed into Trinity Baptist Church, where she made very close friends. These include Mark and Carol, John and Loise, Darlene, Dr. Wakeman and Donna. Donna became her closest friend and they worked together on many cold winter nights, as Terry helped her with her rural paper delivery route.
Terry’s health never fully recovered after chemotherapy and she lived with various aches, pains and illnesses from that point on. Her strong will and determination were not dampened though. She worked part time as a caretaker on Spence Street in the early 2000’s. Her prayers for Christian community to develop in her neighbourhood were instrumental in the birth of Many Rooms Church Community, beginning with a Bible study with Travis and Danielle at the Spence House. She has been a beloved member of this church community up to the present day. Terry was appreciated for her diligent prayers, especially remembering everyone at Many Rooms on their birthday, and for her great generosity, which was an example to us all. She saw herself as a reluctant prayer warrior, but others could see her perseverance in loving others and pursuing a deep relationship with Jesus, no matter what life brought her way.
Terry made close friends in every place she lived in. She was mischievous and loved to tease. Her love also showed itself in practical ways as she shared what she had whenever a friend was in need. Some friends she kept in touch with over the years were Arlene, Marilyn, Richard, and Les. She often shared about her faith with others, and in the last few years took great joy in introducing Dennis and Sharon to Jesus and starting a small house church with them and Dave.
Terry also made close friends with animals, finding them easier to love than people sometimes! She would want us to mention her beloved pets: Pepper, Misty, Tyler, Baby Cakes and Ralphie. After her last pet, Ralphie the Cockatiel, died, she took great pleasure in feeding the birds outside her apartment block, or watching them from her window.
As her health and ability to leave her home diminished, Terry was surrounded by a community of caregivers. She expressed much gratitude to the friends in her Manitoba Housing block, including, Cari, Paul, Dennis and Sharon, to Leon (her faithful exterminator) and to Many Rooms Church Community, especially the Ungers, Jen and Dallas and Dave and Hannah. We want to express our gratitude to Jesse and Jason, building managers in Terry’s last apartment, Maureen and Shirley, her home care workers, Tyler and Ryan, employees of Careica Health and to Dr. Homik and Dr. Kym Rosing. All of these people provided compassionate service to Terry.
Back about 30 years ago, Terry was deeply impacted by an experience she had when she fell unconscious in her home. She woke up two days later having spent an absolutely “heavenly” time riding horses with Jesus. Jesus promised that she would return to this someday and since then Terry has been longing for that day. Early in the morning on December 9, 2022, Terry passed away while asleep in bed. Although we will miss her terribly, we rejoice that she has finally returned home.
A Memorial Service will take place on January 5, 2023 at Trinity Baptist Church (549 Gertrude Ave, Winnipeg, MB) at 5:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, we are sure it would bring Terry joy for you to make a donation in her memory to a friend in need or to the charity of your choice.