A graveside service for Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Russell Burke will be held at 10 am on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at the historic American Cemetery in Natchitoches with Reverend David Elkins officiating and Dale Higginbotham providing musical selections. Burial will follow under direction of Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home. Dr. Larry R. Burke, 85, of Natchitoches, passed away at his home on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Larry is preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence Franklin and Lillian Burke and his sister, Barbara Burke Wyrick. Larry was born on February 2, 1936 in Longview, Texas, where he graduated from Longview High School. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and graduated with a degree in marketing. He then attended the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston, receiving a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1963. Before going into practice Larry joined the United States Air Force where he served as a Captain and dentist for two years at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. In 1966 Larry opened his dental practice in Natchitoches and practiced continuously until 2017 when he retired due to health considerations. Larry’s greatest love and his most satisfying interest was serving this community as a dentist. He was generous with his time and his expertise, helping multitudes who sometimes had no where else to turn. Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of forty years, Linda Pringle Burke; his children, Cathy Burke Sutton (Mark), Dr. Jim Burke (Lynn), Barbara Burke Townsend, and Meredith Burke Needleman (Josh). Grandchildren are Matthew and Marshall Sutton, Emily and Amy Burke, Katherine and Austin Townsend, Lake, Lucy, and Eloise Needleman, and great-grandson Jonah. Those honored to serve as pallbearers include Mark Sutton, Josh Needleman, Matthew Sutton, Marshall Sutton, Austin Townsend, and Lake Needleman. The Burke Family wishes to thank Dr. Otis Barnum, Dr. Warren Botnick and Dr. Chris Ingram for their special care and attention. The family also wishes to thank devoted caretakers Nicole Hardy, Debra Cooper, and Cynthia Denny, along with Hospice of Natchitoches for their time, kindness, and sincere devotion. Honorary pallbearers will be Marvin Pringle, Joe Thibodeaux,, Don Kelly, Gordon Christensen, Sam Salim, Max Mays, Johnny Miller, Bud Currell, Bobby Maness, and Jack Parker. Charitable donations in the memory of Dr. Burke can be made to the following causes for which he had a special affinity: Tunnel to Towers Foundation, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children, and the American Diabetes Association.
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