Mark C. Burke, 56, of Vernon Center
VERNON CENTER » Mark Charles Burke, 56, of Vernon Center, N.Y., passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 due to a heart attack. Mark was born in Oneida, N.Y. on Sept. 30, 1961, the son of Charles Burke of Vernon Center and Arlene (Simmons) Wagner of Verona, N.Y.
He was a 1979 Vernon-Verona- Sherrill Central School graduate. On June 30, 1994 he married Tamela Ann Congden and together they raised five children.
Mark worked as the Deputy Highway Superintendent for the Town of Vernon Highway Department for 38 years, alongside his father for 28, both sons, and many co-workers that he considered family. Mark was an accomplished heavy equipment operator, carpenter, welder, fabricator, mechanic and electrician. He was a true master of all trades.
Mark had a passion for good food (especially fried foods, butter, anything meat, and molasses cookies). He refused to upgrade from his ancient flip phone, loved sneaking naps on the couch, snuggling with his dogs and sharing corny jokes. He enjoyed being outdoors (riding his horse Joey, hunting, fishing, bonfires) and anything Carhartt, Mossy Oak or “comfy.” He spent many hours with his father, cutting down trees and splitting their wood, both to sell and to heat his selfbuilt home.
Mark (Poppa) cherished time with his grandchildren, playing silly games, hair ties and all he was at their beck and call with a smile and a laugh. There’s not enough words to fully honor Mark and the legacy he’s left behind. He showed us that life can be lived to the fullest, that love can be unconditional, that kindness should be effortless, and that happiness is what we make of life.
Mark is survived by his loving wife, Tamela, of Vernon Center; father, Charles ( Elaine) Burke; mother, Arlene Wagner; children, Christy (Jonathan) Pittman of Fishers, Ind., Charles (Elizabeth) Burke of Vernon, N.Y., Jennifer (Jesse) Lloyd of Rome, N.Y., Garrett (Lacie) Burke of Vernon Center, Tiffany Fedor of Indianapolis, Ind.; grandchildren, Nashya, Kaylani and Denzel Lacy of Indianapolis, Olivia and Zachary Lloyd of Rome, Trece and Mya Pittman of Fishers, Charliee Ann Burke of Vernon Center; siblings Rhonda (Scott) Hummer of Madison, N.Y., Susan Ottoway-Buechi of Phoenix, Ariz., Sondra (Jimmy) Shearing of Gainesville, N.Y., Timmy Burke and fiancée Nicole Stockbridge of Oneida, Krista ( Marc) Wayland-Smith of Oneida, Jeff Sprague of Wheeling, W.V., Deborah (James) Wagner-Brownell of Utica, N.Y., Doug (Bonnie) Wagner of Parish, N.Y., Robert Wagner (deceased) and many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
In keeping with Mark’s wishes there will be no public calling hours or funeral services and the family will have a private gathering to celebrate and remember Mark’s life at a later date.
Arrangements are with the Malecki Funeral Home of Vernon. Online condolences may be sent to maleckifuneralhome.com.