Published March 15, 2019

MELROSE – Robert J. Burke, 95, passed away at the Whidden Hospital in Everett on March 6, 2019.

Mr. Burke was born in Newton on February 6, 1924 to the late Edward P. and Anne (MacDonald) Burke. He was raised in Newton and graduated from Newton High School. Robert served his country with pride in the United States Navy during WWII. Robert and his late wife Agnes moved to Melrose in 1966 and he has been a resident ever since.

Mr. Burke owned and operated the Burke Janitorial Supply Company for most of his life as well as working for Wakefield Laundry Service and at Whites Laundry for 30 years. Robert also worked as an usher at the Boston Garden for over 25 years and was well known by his nickname “RJ.” He was an avid golfer, a longtime member of Mount Hood Golf Course in Melrose and also worked for many years as the starter at the golf course. He and his wife Agnes traveled all over the world and especially liked their trips to Ireland, Hawaii and Clearwater Beach in Florida. Mr. Burke was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Church and Incarnation Church in Melrose; he had a wonderful sense of humor and was great with little kids. But he was most proud of being the father of nine children.

Robert was the beloved husband of 65 years to the late Agnes J. (Perrault) Burke, Loving father of Michael Burke of Fla., Cynthia MacDonald and Kevin of Falmouth, Daniel Burke and Susan of Malden, Timothy Burke and Paula of Peabody, Robert Burke and Eileen of Melrose and the late Thomas Burke, John Hector Burke, Kevin Burke and Mary DePalma. Cherished grandfather of Thomas, Kristen, Mikki, Katie, Alex, Jack, Shannon and the late Jacob. Caring great-grandfather of Tivoli, Ari, Emori, Amiti, Kellen, Miller, Sullivan, Crosby, Kenny and Caroline. Brother of Mary Brinn of Ohio, Evelyn Maguire of Norwell, Paul V. Burke of Norwood and the late Edward Burke, Walter Burke and Marjorie Young. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St. Melrose, on Sunday, March 10. Funeral procession from the Gately Funeral Home Melrose on Monday, March 11, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in the Church of the Incarnation, 425 Upham St., Melrose. Relatives and friends were invited to attend. Burial was at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Robert’s name to the Chelsea Soldiers Home, Attn: Cheryl Poppes, 91 Crest Ave., Chelsea, MA 02150. To send a message of condolence please visit