Olson Burke-Sullivan Funeral And Cremation Center

Obituary Detail

July 06, 1941 January 14, 2024
July 06, 1941 -- January 14, 2024

Rita Ellen Burke, Age:83

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our dearest mother, Rita Ellen Burke, on January 14, 2024, during her recovery from a recent and lengthy hospitalization.
She was born July 6th, 1941, to Reuben and Anne Pech in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Rita spent her formative years at 910 S. Irwin before attending the University of Wisconsin Madison from which received her bachelor’s degree.  From there, she moved to Chicago where she met our father, Martin Francis Burke.  The two were wed in 1964 and began a family which would eventually include three sons.  
Rita worked for nearly three decades for Sears Roebuck in different roles within the purchasing and store planning departments at the corporate headquarters.  The last few years of her career may have been her most challenging as she was the primary caregiver for our father who was significantly debilitated by multiple sclerosis, in addition to her work responsibilities.  But, as always, she handled these challenges with her own grace, humility, and an occasional glass of Dewars and soda on the rocks with a twist of lemon.
Her greatest joys in life were spending time with her grandchildren, working on her garden, caring for her cat, and donating to a wide variety of charitable organizations.  Rita’s reserved and quiet manner belied a passionate, generous, and loving soul which we all will dearly miss.
Rita is survived by her children, James, Sean (Thuan), and Stephen (Shannon), along with her grandchildren, Shae, Fallon, Camryn, Nolan, and Austin.
She is preceded in death by her husband Martin and her brother, Stephen.
A visitation will be held Friday, January 19, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Olson Burke/Sullivan Funeral & Cremation Center, 6471 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago, IL 60631, with a funeral service to celebrate Rita’s life to follow at 8:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to an animal charity of your choice.


Andrea Stahly January 18, 2024

Friend of Family St. Charles , Illinois

Dear Steve and Shannon, Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your mom. I know how active she was in your lives and I am sure will be greatly missed. Hugs and kisses to you all. Love, Andrea