Obituary: Arnold D. Burke, 82, of Scottville

March 19, 2021

Obituary: Arnold D. Burke, 82, of Scottville

Arnold D. Burke, 82, of Scottville passed away Wednesday, March 17, 2021 after a three month battle with cancer. He was born July 15, 1938 in Lynn, Mass. to Dennis and Gladys (Rankin) Burke.

He graduated from Lynn Classical High School in 1955 and went on to attend Worchester State College, graduating in 1964. Arnold then attended Southern Illinois University and graduated in 1967. While at SIU, he met Luella Rogers, the love of his life, in September of 1964. They were engaged New Year’s Eve 1964 and married June 26, 1965.

Arnold served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1959 on destroyers based out of Newport, R.I. He was honorably discharged after serving in the Naval Reserves for three more years.

Arnold taught at Boston State College before becoming a site analyst with Stop & Shop, Dayton Hudson, and a long-range planner with Chatham Supermarkets. He started and operated a small business, Display Goods and Promotions that catered to trade shows. His clients included automobile manufacturers, health care tech companies, and mall developers.  When the trade show sector hit a downturn following 9/11, Arnold reinvented the company to serve the growing charter school movement. For 12 years, his company installed equipment and furniture for charter schools in upper Midwest until his retirement at the age of 75.

Arnold loved to cook for family and friends. When grandchildren arrived it was a priority of his to assure Jack and Brenden knew their grandparents, so trips to Illinois and later Tennessee were frequent. With the grandchildren he enjoyed cribbage and other card games, and fishing in Lake Michigan. Travel was a favorite activity; taking the roads less traveled was common for him. His only tour was to Alaska, a 50th wedding anniversary gift from his sons. He also loved crossword puzzles, reading, and keeping current with politics. 

Arnold and Luella’s sons were raised in Brighton, but they lived the last 22 years of his life in Scottville. He was a member of Ludington United Methodist Church where he served as chair of the Building Committee for the Bryant Road location. He also served on the Administrative Board, Finance Committee, trustees, and was treasurer and greeter for many years. Arnold also served on the board of Mason County Habitat for Humanity and helped build six homes in six years as well as being instrumental in creating the Habitat’s ReStore.

Then there were the dogs…in particular, brothers, Simon and Schuster followed by his beloved Eli. Arnold communicated with his dogs and them with him.

Arnold is survived by his wife of 55 years, Luella; his sons, Dennis (Gwen) Burke of Brentwood, Tenn. and Michael (Deborah Safron) Burke of Sunnyvale, Calf.; his grandsons,  Jack and Brenden Burke; his sister, Ellen (Charles) Burke Daley of Machester, Conn.; and many nieces and nephews and beloved friends.

A memorial service will be held Friday, May 21, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 5810 E. Bryant Road, Ludington (Pere Marquette Township). Family will greet friends starting at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Arnold’s name may be directed to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund at the Ludington United Methodist Church, the American Cancer Society, or the charity of donor’s choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.oakgroveludington.com.

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