With sadness we announce the passing of Elaine Burke, loving wife of the late William J Burke, peacefully at home at the age of 88 with family by her side. Born at home on December 23, 1930 to William Hart and Mary (Donahue) Hart, she resided in West Hartford. She graduated from Hall High School and received her nursing degree from St Joseph College in 1952. She loved being a nurse and her career took her to such places as Norwich State Hospital, St Francis Hospital, Mclean Home, Holly Hill Convalescent home and Reid Treatment Center before she hung up her cap in 1988. She married Bill Oct 3, 1959 and residing in Simsbury, raised 5 children; Thomas (Junko) of Tokyo, William of Rocky Hill, Catherine (Bruno) of Carmel, IN, John (Donna) of Melissa, TX and David (Julie) of Wimberly TX. and 3 grandchildren; Bridget and Molly Grenci of IN and Spencer Larson of TX. With a personality that never seemed to quit and a passion for getting the most out of life she was rarely still. Outspoken, demanding, a difficult mother, a tough as nails boss; she was also compassionate, generous, a faithful friend, a wonderful sister, a devoted grandmother, a loving aunt and a great neighbor. All in all, she did a pretty decent job and made many wonderful friends along the way. She reminisced often of growing up poor in the 30's and how she and her little brother Lou would rummage through the trash of a nearby florist and find the flowers that were thrown out and create small bouquets that they would then sell door to door. She instilled her ethic of hard work without complaint onto her kids. Settling in Essex after retirement volunteering at the gift shop at St Francis gave her much satisfaction. Taking advantage of life near the water with time on Bill's boat, days at Rocky Neck and shopping at all the quaint little stores she could find. Afternoons spent in her yard, pulling weeds and pachysandra was her relaxation. She adored her house, flowers, trees and spending her time there. She faced her share of challenges in life, however the biggest was the death of her only daughter Cathy in 2011 to cancer. She carried the pain of that loss until the end, often staring into space and saying, I just can't believe she's really gone. The depth of love between a mother and child can never be fully realized, especially when it is your only daughter. They were truly partners in crime, talking for hours on end about cooking, shopping, raising kids, celebrities and who was wearing what at the awards shows. Their reunion will truly be wonderful. She leaves her children, grandchildren, her big sister Marjorie and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by Bill, her husband of 59 years, daughter Catherine, big brother Billy and little brother Lou.We'll miss you mom. The family wishes to thank the wonderful neighbors on Partridge Hill who always were there to lend a hand and keep an eye out for Bill and Elaine as they grew into their old age. Also a very big thank you to all the staff, volunteers and fellow residents of Apple Rehab in Old Saybrook who always treated Elaine with dignity and courtesy and did everything they could to help her smile and enjoy the day when she sometimes found it difficult to find something to smile for. Calling hours will be Thursday February 21 from 5 to 7PM at Robinson Wright & Weymer Funeral Home 34 Main St, Centerbrook. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers a donation in Elaine's memory can be made to St Francis Hospital at Donate to the Saint Francis Foundation. To share a memory of Elaine or send a condolence to her family, please visit www.rwwfh.com.