Pernina “Perky” Burke, 100, St. Cloud
March 20, 1918 - September 9, 2018
Pernina “Perky” Burke, passed away peacefully on September 9th, 2018 at the age of 100. Funeral service will be at 3 pm on Sunday, 9/16 and visitation from 1-3 pm at the Daniel Funeral Home, 1010 2nd St. N., St. Cloud MN.
Born 3/20/18. Perky attended grade school in Hackensack MN, was a member of the National Honor Society graduating from Pequot Lakes high school at the age of 16. Perky married the love of her life, Edward L. Burke in 1937 and raised 6 six children, Marionne “Koko” (Lawrence) Croake, Perry (Julie) Burke, Michael Burke, Patrick Burke, Peggy Burke and Pernina “Nina” (Arlen Damlo) Burke. She has 13 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by her husband in 1970, and children Perry, Patrick and Nina.
Perky became involved in various war efforts while her husband served and was a POW during WWII for four years, and while raising their first two young children. She remained active in the EX-POW organization throughout her lifetime, serving as chaplain for the St. Cloud EX-POW chapter until it disbanded. She and her husband moved from Brainerd to St. Cloud in 1951. Perky worked over 25 years at St. Cloud Hospital as a pathology secretary, was a part time teacher at St. Cloud Vocational School for several years and was a board member of the Hospital Credit Union. Other jobs throughout her life included operating a Board and Care home for veterans with mental illnesses, teaching medical terminology and transcription to the blind for MN DRS, retail customer service, and selling children’s books, silver services and china. While working and raising her family, Perky was a Girl Scout leader for several years, and was active in the PTA and Catholic Daughters of America. Perky was a member of the Brainerd Drum and Bugle Corps for 8 years and taught others to play drums. Avocations included being an accomplished seamstress, playing piano, organ, tenor drums, and saxophone and composing music. Perky performed in many local theater productions, including proudly playing the lead in “On Golden Pond” twice. Perky was an avid reader with a life-long love of learning in addition to being a talented and proficient writer. Despite the challenges often faced in day-to-day life, Perky always took the opportunity to be grateful for the blessings in her life, and encouraged others to do so as well, often relying on her Catholic faith to sustain her. Perky never met a stranger and tried to stay in touch with everyone she met. She was well-known by all for her love of coffee, and shared many cups in her lifetime with family and friends.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to donors choice.
Read a profile of Perky Burke at MPR.org.