James H. Burke, 78, a longtime Framingham resident, died suddenly on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Born in Boston, the son of the late Edwin & Eleanor (Lipsett) Burke, Jim was raised in Dorchester and was a graduate with honors from Boston Trade High School.
Following high school, Jim enlisted in the Navy, yet quickly realized he lacked “sea legs.” He soon transferred to the Air Force, where he would serve his country until 1965. Upon completion of his service, he worked briefly for a bakery in Dorchester, which may surprise people given his lack of skills in the kitchen, and then spent the majority of his career (over 30 years) as a trolley operator on the Green Line for the MBTA.
Some people have the ability to speak to anyone, and Jim was one of those people. He had a story (or ten) for everyone who would listen. He could often be found hunting for a good garage sale and was known to his family as a collector of “treasures.” He was also a true creature of habit, enjoying his daily 2-hour workout routine while listening to (very loud) classical music.
Above all else, Jim loved his family. His beloved wife of 51 years, Irene C. (Tobin), his children, Christine Meehan & her husband Matt of Kingston, Pauline Dobrowski & her husband Matt of Pembroke, and Kevin & his wife Jennie of Kingston; his 8 grandchildren, Jack, Ellie, Maggie, Mason, Rose, Cole, Addie, and Hailey; his twin brother, William & his wife Anne; his sister, Gerry Haddad & her husband Steve; his sister-in-law Ginny; and many nieces and nephews. Jim was predeceased by his brother Robert.
While Jim was lovingly known for his many roles as Husband, Dad, Papa, Brother, and Uncle/Cousin Jimmy, his favorite was Papa.
Family and friends will honor and remember Jim’s life by gathering for visiting hours in the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home, 11 Lincoln Street, Framingham on Tuesday, July 20th from 4-8pm. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Bridget’s Church, 830 Worcester Road, Framingham, on Wednesday morning at 10am. Interment for immediate family will follow in Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne at 1:15pm.
In lieu of flowers, please honor Jim by buying yourselves some dark chocolate or a towering ice cream sundae.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James H. Burke, please visit our floral store.