Shirley Burke

UPDATE:  There will be a memorial service honoring Shirley and Horace Burke beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center, 3001 S. College Ave. in Bryan, Texas. Refreshments will be served.

Shirley Darrow Burke, 88, passed away October 5, 2016, in Bryan, Texas. She was born May 25, 1928, in Tucson, Arizona, to parents Esmerelda Higgins Darrow and Malcolm Dewitt Darrow.

Her family moved several times during her childhood, so she attended school in Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas, graduating from Stephen F. Austin High School in Bryan in 1947.  She received a bachelor’s degree in 1951 from Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman’s University) in Denton, Texas, majoring in Home Economics Education.  Upon graduation, she took a position as a Home Economics teacher at Luther Burbank High School in San Antonio, where she taught for six years and was very popular with her students.  She resigned that position upon her marriage to Horace R. Burke on June 1, 1957, at which time she moved to the Bryan-College Station area, where Horace was pursuing his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University.

Shirley worked in the Meats Laboratory in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University for several years, until she resigned to become a full-time homemaker and mother to two children.  She particularly loved cooking, gardening, and sewing.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Horace, who passed away September 6, 2016; her parents; and her two sisters, Patricia Walker and Joan O’Neal, both of whom lived in Bryan.  She is survived by her son, Daniel R. Burke of Pflugerville, Texas, and by her daughter, Cheryl Burke Jarvis and her husband, John Jarvis, of Carbondale, Illinois.

A memorial service will follow at a date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her memory to Hospice Brazos Valley (donations can be made online at; or to the Alzheimer’s Association (; or to a charity of your choice.

For more information contact 

Callawy-Jones Funeral & Cremation Centers

3001 S College Avenue
Bryan, TX 77801
United States (US)
Phone: (979) 822-3717


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