Charlie (Papa) Burke, Jr., the Patriarch of our Family, was one of 15 children born to the union of Charlie Burke, Sr. and Cornelia Jackson; he was born in Thomasville, Georgia, in the year of 1881. Four of his brothers were Larry (Son), Ed (Man), Tesum, and Sam (Cap) and 3 of his sisters were Hattie, Lula, and Willie.
Patsy (Pat) Gallon-Burke, the Matriarch of our Family, was the youngest of 17 children born to the union of Vernon Gallon, Sr. and Ellen Feacher; she was born in Thomasville, Georgia, February 6, 1884. Although Patsy had lots of brothers and sisters, only the names of a few have been recalled at this time. Four of her brothers were Vernon, Jr., James, Murray, and Steve; Five of her sisters were Ellen, Penny, Daisy, Nellie, and Harriett.
Charlie Burke, Jr. and Patsy Gallon met in Thomasville, Georgia and both of their lives changed forever. Sometime during the year of 1900, Charlie asked for and received the hand of Patsy in Holy Matrimony. To this union, 13 children were born. Five children, Ellen (Shug), Charlie III (Buddy), Cornelia (Sister), Mae Ella, and David were born in Thomasville, Georgia.
Years later, the family moved to Monticello, Florida, where six more children - Daisy Lou (Muder), Carrie Bell, Robert (Bob), Selena, Mary Lee, and Nellie Mae (Honeybee) were born.
In the early 1920's, Charlie moved the family to Sanford, Florida, where the 12th child (still-born) and the 13th child, Rosa Lee, were born.
In Sanford, Charlie became a successful farming contractor. He proved to be a faithful husband, a loving father, and a good provider. The Burke's were one of the first families in Sanford to own a telephone, television, and radio. Charlie purchased land and built three houses. Two houses were torn down in 2002; the main house at 1401 West 10th Street was torn down in 2014. Charlie died in 1934, at the age of 53.
Patsy was a faithful Christian, a devoted wife, and a loving mother. She taught her children to trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ; she was known to pray for the born and the unborn. Her grandchildren found her inspiring and full of wisdom. Patsy passed away on January 8, 1986, at the age of 101. Her sweet spirit lives on in the memories, hearts, and aspirations of all her heirs.
Although Charlie and Patsy are no longer with us, we commemorate their lives in our family reunions as a testament of our blessed heritage and Christian hope. May God continue to shower us with His blessings!