Obituary of Lois J Burke
Lois Janet Burke was born in East Rutherford, NJ, on July 8, 1938, to Adam and Bertha Krystyniak, both of Polish descent. An only child, Lois was raised in Wallington, NJ, where she lived with her family above her father’s Polish butcher shop and grocery store, “Adam’s Market.” After graduation from high school, Lois attended Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in Montclair, NJ.
At age 19 Lois met her future husband, Edward Burke, a young engineer from Brooklyn, NY, on a blind date. The two were married the following year on February 8, 1959. In 1961 Lois gave birth to a daughter, Kathleen, and the young family moved to Morris Plains, NJ, to be close to Bell Laboratories where Ed was employed. In 1966 a second daughter, Susan, was born. Though Lois had initially worked as an executive secretary, she became a full-time homemaker once her daughters were born.
Ed’s work at Bell Labs resulted in two more relocations, first to Colts Neck, NJ, and then to Basking Ridge, NJ. In each of these places, Lois was deeply involved in and engaged with her community.
In Basking Ridge especially, Lois found joy becoming involved first with Welcome Wagon, and then with her bridge group, wine tasting community, and her leadership of “Broadway Bound,” a large group which traveled several times a year to New York City to see Broadway Shows and enjoy sightseeing adventures. A loving mother and grandmother, Lois also spent much of her time visiting with her daughters and their families and hosting many holiday dinners. Lois never lost connection with her many Polish cousins and visited Wallington often, where Adam’s Market is still run by family. Summers were happily spent at Lois and Ed’s second home on Long Beach Island.
In her later years, Lois cared lovingly for her husband, Ed, who passed away from Parkinson’s Disease in March of 2020 after a prolonged illness. In 2021 Lois herself required skilled care due to a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia and was able to be near family. Her greatest joy in her last days was seeing her baby great-granddaughter every week.
Lois passed away peacefully on June 3, 2023. She is survived by her daughters, Kathy Brenman (Scott), Susan Burns (Bruce), as well as six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A private Celebration of Life will be held to honor the lives of both Lois and Ed.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lois Burke, please visit Tribute Store