It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Morris Edwin Burke M.D. husband, father and grandfather, on February 17, 2018 at the Vancouver General Hospital.
In his 90th year, he passed peacefully after a short illness, in the arms of his loving family. He is buried at the Beth Israel Cemetery in Vancouver, BC.
A much loved and respected physician, artist, teacher, friend and colleague, Morris, or ‘Maishe’ as he was known to his family and friends, was born in Winnipeg Manitoba on November 14, 1927 to Max and Sarah Burke, the youngest of three sons.
He was predeceased by his parents, and brothers Matt and Benge. He is survived by his wife Eleanor, children David, (Sharlynne), Joel, Baillie and Jeff, grandchildren Connor, Sarah, Ava and Kiera, brothers-in-law Morley Shatsky, (Charlene) and Meyer Thompson, sisters-in-law Belle Burke (Toronto) and Lillian Burke (Winnipeg), and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Morris attended St. John’s Tech High School and was Valedictorian in his last year. He applied and was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba despite a strict quota at the time for Jewish students. He was awarded the Lt. Frank Rich Memorial Scholarship after his first year of internship and in 1951 he graduated Medicine as one of the youngest in a large class of graduates. Morris then married his long time love Eleanor Shatsky, whom he had met at the age of 16. He took the position as Doctor in the town of Erikson MB, followed by a move to Norway House at the top of Lake Winnipeg, working for the, Department of Indian Affairs. There, he wrote a dictionary in the Cree language with the help of the Cree First Nation locals to better communicate their illnesses and document their medical histories. Morris acted as Surgeon, Obstetrician and Dentist, and was greatly respected for his compassion and tireless care as he flew to nursing stations at Cross Lake and Island Lake. After, the couple moved to Wappella, SK where they lived for the next three years and then back to Winnipeg to rejoin their extended families and welcome their sons David, Joel and daughter Baillie.
Morris opened his office in East Kildonan on Watt Street where he practiced for 40 years, meanwhile becoming Medical Director of Tuxedo Villa and Beacon Hill Nursing Homes. Among his many accomplishments, he was commended by the Mayo Clinic for his diagnostic abilities and was acknowledged by his peers for using the practice of hypnosis to help his patients overcome disabilities. He was Secretary for the Board of the Canadian Hypnosis Society for several years.
Eventually he closed his office and joined the Eaton Place Medical Centre until his retirement in 2015. To quote his patients who often brought him second and third generations, Morris was a ‘gentle, patient, articulate, empathetic and thorough doctor’. He was loved by everyone who knew him and for whom he always had a kind word.
After being in practice for 64 years, Morris and Eleanor moved to Vancouver BC to join their children and grandchildren. They would have celebrated their 67th Anniversary July 1, 2018. An epitaph Morris wrote on his parent’s headstone is equally fitting to his own; ’Golden Hearts & Hands at Rest.’ We will love and miss him forever.
A donation in Morris’ name to Mazon Canada (1.416.783.7554) or the charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.