We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Barbara D. Burke, who died on October 28, 2019, at the age of 85.
Barbara was born on January 7, 1934 in Oakland, CA to Warren Burke and Ellen Dunbar. She graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education, following which she earned her Master of Public Administration from the Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Washington in 1985. She then served the Edmonds Unitarian Church, WA as a student minister (1988) and the Unitarian Church, Rockford, IL as a summer minister (1988). Later in 1989, Barbara received her Master of Divinity from Northwest Theological Union, WA.
Rev. Burke was ordained on January 24, 1991, by the Northlake UU Church, Kirkland, WA where she carried out her parish ministry for eight years (1990-1998). In 1998, she accepted a call from the Community UU Church, Daytona Beach, FL and served there until 2000 as a New Congregation Minister. Rev. Burke then served Horizon UU Church, Carrollton, TX as a Program Minister from 2000 until 2003, and simultaneously as an Adult Religious Educator from 2002 to 2003. Later, on November 30, 2003, she retired from her active ministry.
Outside of her ministry, Rev. Burke carried out vital services to the denomination. She served as a worship leader for the UU Women’s Federal Biennial Conference (1991); and as a member for the Lambda Ministers Guild (1991), and the Pacific Northwest District (PNWD) Ministerial Transition Team. She functioned as a UU Delegate for the Washington State Interfaith Council (1991-1994); and chaired the Nominating Committee, PNWD Chapter, UU Ministers’ Association (1992-1995), and the Steering Committee of PNWD UU Rights Campaign (1994-1995). Furthermore, Rev. Burke performed as a President for the Puget Sound UU Council; Continuing Education Representative for the PNWD-UUMA (1995); and Worship Leader for the Service of Hope and Remembrance at the General Assembly 1995.
Throughout her life, Barbara was devoted to serving the community. She served the Board and Executive Committee of Kirkland Performance Center (1991); and the Advisory Board of B-GLAD, Youth Eastside Services (1991), and Green Grass Gatherings (1992-1994). She also fulfilled her services as Treasurer and Volunteer Chaplain for Evergreen Hospital Medical Center. Barbara was Draft Counselor for Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center and a member of Humptulips, Ministerial Study Group (1991-1995). In 1996, she was featured on an hour-long ABC-TV Turning Point program: “For Better or Worse: Gay Marriage.”
After retirement from her ministry, Barbara continued her community service as a Spiritual Advisor at Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. In her spare time, she loved needlework, reading, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her family. Likewise, she enjoyed playing bridge, visiting museums, going to movies, dancing and traveling to foreign countries.
Barbara is survived by her sons Jesse McDonald, TJ McDonald and his wife Hisako Matsumoto; her sisters Elizabeth Merriman, and Nancy Bosch; her grandson Kisho McDonald; her granddaughters Lily McDonald, Georgia McDonald, and Ruby McDonald; her nieces Kate Merriman, Porter Merriman, Amy Taylor; her nephew Joe McCormick; her grandniece Elsabet Merriman; and her grandnephews Davis and Bentley Lanterman.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Path with Art, 312 2nd Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104.
A memorial service is being planned for February.
Notes of condolences may be sent to TJ McDonald at 312 N 82nd St, Seattle, WA 98103.
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